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Uphaar fire: 15 years on, victims' families await justice

Jun 13, 2012 12:07 IST

#New Delhi   #NewsTracker   #Uphaar Cinema fire  

New Delhi: Family members of victims of Uphaar fire tragedy today held a prayer meet in the memory of 59 persons who died in the theatre 15 years ago and urged the government to bring in a legislation to deal with such man-made disasters.

Association of Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), which is fighting legal battles, said nothing concrete has happened in the last three years after the government proposed to bring a law for prevention of such tragedies in public places.

Fifty-nine cine-goers had died of asphyxia on 13 June 1997 during the screening of Hindi blockbuster movie Border. Reuters

"The collusion of callous and greedy officials, big business houses and an apathetic system flourishes. We once again appeal to the policy makers to implement stringent laws to deter and avert such man-made tragedies so that in future, precious human lives are not lost," AVUT president Neelam Krishnamoorthy, who lost her two children in the tragedy, said.

The prayer meet was held in Smriti Upavan at Green Park Extension, opposite the site of Uphaar hall.

"We had approached the President, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Law Minister in 2009 for enactment of a law in this regard," she told PTI, adding despite assurances, nothing concrete has happened in the past three years.

The Delhi High Court had on 19 December 2009, sentenced the owners of Uphaar Cinema — Sushil and Gopal Ansal and former Delhi Fire Service staff HS Panwar to one year jail term.

Three others — gate keeper Manmohan Unniyal, Delhi Vidyut Board employees Brij Mohan Satija and Bir Singh — were awarded two-year jail term.

The appeal against the high court's judgement is pending in the Supreme Court.

Fifty-nine cine-goers had died of asphyxia on 13 June 1997 during the screening of Hindi blockbuster movie Border.

PTI