As they have done since 1997, families of the Uphaar Cinema fire victims remembered their loved ones at a prayer meeting on Wednesday, marking the 21st anniversary of the tragedy that killed 59 people.
“They say time heals all, but it’s not like that. Every year on June 13, we are reminded of all that happened on the fateful day,” said Naveen Sahwney, who lost his 21-year-old daughter Tarika in the fire.
On Wednesday morning, he and family members of other victims gathered at Smriti Upavan, which is opposite Uphaar Cinema, for the annual havan and shanti paath organised by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT).
The venue was adorned with flowers as well as posters demanding justice for the victims.
Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both his children in the fire, said: “Justice has eluded us. Even after Uphaar, we have seen so many man-made disasters. Our government as well as our courts are in slumber.”
He along with others who have relentlessly fought the case feel that they have been let down by the judiciary as Sushil Ansal, one of the owners of the cinema, was allowed to walk free by the Supreme Court because of his old age.
Shyam Pandey, who has raised his two daughters alone after his wife died in the fire, said: “Identification of a nodal organisation which is legally responsible for whatever happens in a public building is extremely important.”