Uphaar victims' families observe 11th anniversary of tragedy
Families of Uphaar victims on Friday observed the 11th anniversary of the tragedy, which claimed 59 lives when a fire broke out in a cinema hall in New Delhi, and resolved to fight for enhancing the punishment of culprits.
Members of 28 families who lost 59 of their loved ones assembled at the 'Smriti Uphaar', the memorial in south Delhi's Green Park, and performed a 'havan' for the departed souls.
The families resolved to continue their "fight for justice" as they felt that the punishment meted out to the culprits was "not sufficient".
"The past 11 years have been an excruciating legal battle for us and a rankling sense of injustice tortures us," Neelam Krishnamoorthy of Association of Uphaar Tragedy Victims said.
"The verdict of the trial has further traumatised and victimised us when we realise that the people responsible for the tragedy have been let off with a mere two year sentence," she said.
Fifty-nine people were killed when a fire broke out in Uphaar cinema hall during the matinee show on the first day of the release of Hindi movie "Border" on June 13, 1997.
In November 2007, a Delhi court convicted all 12 accused, including theatre owners Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, guilty of gross negligence.
"We take this opportunity to remind people that no verdict or sentence can bring back to life our dear ones, who were so cruelly snatched away from us. The outcome of this case will, in fact, impact public safety and we hope that in future, public spaces in the country will become safer," she said.