Uphaar fire: Justice so near yet so far for kin of victims

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Dejection, agony and heartache once again manifested themselves on her face when she stepped out of the courtroom as justice today once again played the ten-year-old familiar eluding game with her and others of her own ilk.

The moment stood still refusing to drag itself and a sudden hush fell on the courtroom when Additional Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal, trying the Uphaar fire tragedy case, announced one more adjournment of the decade-old case till tomorrow.

When Neelam Krishnamoorthy, president of the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy(AVUT) whose son and daughter were consumed in the Uphaar inferno on June 13, 1997, emerged out of the courtroom the hurt in the eyes of her husband and hers was plain and pronounced.

''It is yet another prolongment of our misery and anguish. We have been waiting for justice for the last ten agonisingly long years. We thought today the sentencing would take place and give us some solace. But that was not to be,'' a dejected Neelam told UNI.

''In court, the defence lawyers trotted out different kinds of arguments trying to save the skin of their clients on frivolous grounds. The defence said their clients were suffering for the last ten years. I want to ask what sufferings are they talking about? Am I not suffering who lost both her children in the blaze. Don't they know I go to an empty house and would continue to do so all my life?'' she fought back her tears.

''The convicts in the case are having parties in five-star hotels, their children going abroad for studies and enjoying vacations there. Is this what they call sufferings? But let me assure them we will take this legal fight to its logical end,'' she thundered.

Her husband Shekhar said seeking of the adjournment of the case today by the defence was yet another instance of frustration on the part of the convicts. It was another ploy by them to delay justice.

''We don't think the case was a trial by the media as the defence alleged in court. Now, our eyes are set on the quantum of punishment the convicts will get which may happen in a day or two,'' he hoped.


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