The incident took place at Sri Krishna Middle School on July 16, 2004 when fire broke out in the kitchen where mid day meal for the students was prepared. The fire spread out quickly to the first floor due to the thatched roof. 94 students, all between the age of 5 and 9 lost their lives, while many were left scarred for life.
Sources said that the teachers abandoned the children. The held the 21 accused, including the owner of the building, the staff and the teachers, guilty.
Members of the school management are among those convicted. Apart from the Principal, three teachers have also been found guilty. In an earlier investigation, the latter had been found guilty for leaving Nursery children when the fire broke out. The Principal, meanwhile, has been slapped with a fine of Rs 7 lakhs.
Family of the victims say,"The punishment should be so stringent that it should be a lesson for others. None should suffer like us, losing children."
It is alleged that authorities of the various departments had approved the building's structural ability, sanitation and student strength, without even visiting the school. It is also said that three schools, including a government-aided one funtioned under the same roof. Moreover, an inspection proved that the government-aided wing was packed with private students to enhance attendence, claim grants and teacher posting.