NEW DELHI: Family members of Uphaar fire tragedy victims today held a prayer meet to mark the 18th anniversary of the incident and expressed their unhappiness over extension of hearing of the case.
Wearing black bands, they gathered at Smriti Upavan in Green Park Extension, located opposite to the tragedy site, and performed a 'havan' in memory of those killed in the fire this day in 1997.
President of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) Neelam Krishnamoorthy, who lost her two children in the tragedy, was also present on the occasion.
A bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra (since retired), on March 5, 2014, had held real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal guilty over the incident, but had differed on quantum of sentence to be awarded to them.
Justice Thakur concurred with the 2008 verdict of the Delhi High Court that had awarded one year jail terms to Sushil and Gopal Ansal.
However, Justice Mishra reduced the jail term to already undergone by Sushil considering his age and enhanced the sentence of Gopal to two years.
After which, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu has to hear afresh and authoritatively decide the case.
"After moving three applications, the matter was slated to be heard on April 21, but court adjourned it further on the request of Ansals," said Krishnamoorthy.
Fifty-nine people, trapped in the balcony of the theatre, died of asphyxia following the fire and over 100 people got injured in subsequent stampede on that fateful day during the screening of movie "Border".