NEW DELHI: Neelam Krishnamoorthy, who lost her two children to the 1997 Uphaar blaze, said that Sunday’s tragedy made her feel that she could do little as a crusader fighting alone.
“Every time, it is the same story — the lack of fire safety compliance measures. It is the ordinary people who die in fire accidents. So, it does not bother our politicians. Unfortunately, I feel I have failed. The entire system is so corrupt that I feel defeated. I had immense faith in the criminal justice system and I thought the deterrence would come from there. I feel I have actually failed because I cannot do anything alone,” Neelam told The Morning Standard. “I blame the system, the judiciary, the government, and the politicians (for such tragedies).”
That human life is cheap in India was proved by the Supreme Court judgment in the Uphaar tragedy, she argued, adding that was perhaps one of the reasons why nobody learnt any lesson. “There is no deterrent in case of fire tragedies.”
“The CJI said instant justice is revenge. That’s true, but please do not make us wait for decades. There is no accountability or transparency. Do they even want to bring in a change?” she wondered.
Plastic hub a tinder box
As the name suggests, Anaj mandi had once 30 flour mills during the British era. These mills functioned till 1990s, after which the area slowly became an industrial area — a hub of plastic goods. The fire was waiting to happen.