Uphaar fire tragedy: Government recommends rejection of Ansal’s plea

On June 3, 1997, 59 people, trapped in the balcony of Uphaar cinema in Green Park area of south Delhi, died of asphyxia when a fire broke out during the screening of the movie ‘Border’.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 21, 2017 2:39 am
Uphaar cinema tragedy, uphaar tragedy case, uphaar fire case, Delhi HC uphaar case, Sushil Ansal, Gopal Ansal, Indian Express Fifty-nine people were killed in the fire. (Express Archive)

The Delhi government on Tuesday recommended rejection of a mercy petition filed by Gopal Ansal, one of the convicts in the Uphaar fire case.

A government spokesperson said, “Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain has recommended rejection of the mercy petition of Gopal Ansal in the Uphaar fire tragedy case.”

The families of the victims had on Monday asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to reject the mercy petition. The Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), during their meeting with Kejriwal, had said that if “a rich and powerful person” like Ansal was shown mercy, it would send a wrong signal to other wrongdoers. The AVUT had also submitted a representation in this regard to the Chief Minister.

The Supreme Court had, on February 9, ordered real estate baron Gopal Ansal to serve the remaining part of his one-year jail term, following which he had filed a mercy petition before the President, through senior advocate and Member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani. The President then forwarded it to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The MHA has sought inputs from the Delhi government and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The Supreme Court, on February 9, had given relief to Gopal Ansal’s elder brother Sushil Ansal, considering his advanced age and the jail term already undergone by him. The SC had modified its earlier order for Gopal and ordered him to serve the rest of his one-year jail term.

The brothers were also asked to pay Rs 30 crore each for setting up a trauma centre in Delhi. On June 3, 1997, 59 people, trapped in the balcony of Uphaar cinema in Green Park area of south Delhi, died of asphyxia when a fire broke out during the screening of the movie ‘Border’.

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