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Families observe 27th year of Uphaar Cinema tragedy

On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at Uphaar cinema hall during the screening of Hindi film Border.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 17:07 IST

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New Delhi: Families of victims of Uphaar tragedy on Thursday observed the 27th year of the incident that claimed the lives of 59 people, including 23 children, in a massive fire inside a south Delhi cinema hall.

On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at Uphaar cinema hall during the screening of Hindi film Border.

The Association of The Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) said there has been little change in the state of fire safety measures at public places ever since the tragedy.

"AVUT's endeavour for the past 27 years has been not only to get justice for our loved ones, but also to ensure implementation of safety laws in public spaces so that no precious human lives are lost in the future.

"Since the Uphaar tragedy took place, virtually no efforts have been made to enforce fire safety regulations in public spaces. As a result, millions of people who visit public spaces in India remain vulnerable and unsafe, with the possibility of tragedies of the same magnitude looming large," it said.

Expressing concern over the incidents of fire at a TRP Gaming Zone in Rajkot, Gujarat and the Baby Care Hospital in Delhi, the association said, "India has witnessed many fire tragedies after Uphaar ... yet, fire safety does not receive any attention from the government."

It said the fire tragedies in Gujarat and Delhi could have been averted if the owner or occupiers had not violated "every rule of the book with impunity."

"The perpetrators of such heinous crimes are often booked under section 304 A IPC (Rash and negligent Act) which is a bailable offence.

"In such instances, they are shown leniency and given the opportunity to avoid adequate punishment, despite having wilfully neglected to follow safety rules," it said and demanded a law to deal with man-made disasters and a fast track courts to expedite such cases.

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Published 13 June 2024, 17:07 IST

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