Minutes after the Supreme Court sentenced Gopal Ansal, one of the accused in the Uphaar cinema fire case, to one year in jail, a petitioner in the case said she regretted having not killed the accused the day of the tragedy.
“I should have shot these people (Ansal brothers) the day my children died,” Neelam Krishnamoorthy, president of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), was quoted saying by news agency ANI. Krishnamoorthy’s two teenage children died in the tragedy.
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She said she was ‘extremely disappointed’ and that her biggest mistake in life was coming to court. “Rich and powerful enjoy special powers,” she told ANI.
On June 13, 1997, 59 people died due to suffocation after a fire broke out at the Uphaar cinema hall in Green Park in New Delhi. The fire had erupted during a screening of the film ‘Border.’ More than a hundred people were seriously injured in the incident. In November that year, the CBI filed a chargesheet against 16 accused including theatre owners Gopal and Sushil Ansal. In August, 2015, the Supreme Court asked the Ansal brothers to go to jail for 2 years if they fail to pay Rs 30 crore each within three months. The brothers paid the compensation but the victims association wanted a harsher punishment.
READ: Timeline of the case
WATCH VIDEO | Supreme Court Sentences Gopal Ansal To 1 Year Jail In Uphaar Fire Tragedy Case
In its review plea, AVUT had said the apex court judgement “bestows an unwarranted leniency on convicts whose conviction in the most heinous of offences has been upheld by all courts including this court and sentences imposed on them have been substituted with fine without assigning any reason”.
“The sentences of the convicts have been reduced to the period undergone without taking into account the gravity of their offence,” it had said.