Family members of Uphaar cinema tragedy victims today urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal not to consider the convict Gopal Ansal’s mercy plea which has been forwarded to the Delhi government and the Lt Governor by the Home Ministry. The Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), during their meeting with Kejriwal, said that if “a rich and powerful person” like Ansal was shown any mercy then it would sent a wrong signal to other wrong doers.
The Supreme Court (SC) had on February 9 ordered real estate baron Gopal Ansal to serve the remaining part of his one-year jail term in connection with the case. Following which, he had filed a mercy petition before the President through senior advocate and Member of Parliament Ram Jethmalani. The President has forwarded it to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The MHA has now sought inputs from the Delhi government and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, AVUT president Neelam Krishnamoorthy said. “The AVUT members today met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and requested him to reject the mercy plea filed by Ansal as providing mercy to a rich and powerful person like him is sure to send a wrong signal to other wrong doers,” she said.
If Ansal is shown any mercy, our battle for justice will go in vain, she added. The association also submitted a representation in this regard to the Chief Minister. The apex court, on February 9, had given relief to Gopal Ansal’s elder brother Sushil Ansal, considering his advanced age, by giving him the jail term already undergone by him, including the remission, in the case.
Though, the SC had modified its earlier order for Gopal and ordered him to serve the remaining part of his one-year imprisonment. Both the brothers were also asked to pay Rs 30 crore each for setting up of a trauma centre in Delhi. Fifty-nine people, trapped in the balcony, had died of asphyxia when a fire broke out in a transformer during the screening of Bollywood movie ‘Border’ in Uphaar Grand cinema in Green Park area of South Delhi on June 13, 1997.