Interview Text Excerpts: Indiatoday| Image Source: ghumakkad, Twitter
It is not easy to spearhead a lonely battle. Neelam Katara and Neelam Krishnamoorthy are the two examples worth mentioning. Both of them fought the lonely battle for justice. But on Aug 21, Neelam Krishnamoorthy lost her faith in Indian judicial system.
On 13rd June 1997, 59 people lost their lives in a death trap. Eighteen years ago, Neelam Krishnamoorthy’s two children were among the fifty-nine people who had died in the fire at Upahar cinema hall in the national capital. Since then she has been fighting for the justice she promised to her children. She broke down upon hearing the verdict.
” I lost The faith in God 20 years ago and today I lost the faith in judiciary,” Krishnamoorthy said. Her words seem strong but the pain could only be felt by the victims of 59 families.
Upahar case tragedy was the second biggest man-made tragedy after Bhopal gas tragedy. But this was the case where civil negligence turned into criminal negligence.
“If one is rich one wins. Today the highest court has let us down. I have no respect for the judiciary,” she further added alluding to Ansal brothers.
Neelam Katara’s case is another such case where the powerful absconded and smirked at the victim’s family. Her son, Nitish Katara, was murdered by Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav, the sons of influential criminal-politician DP Yadav. On April 2, 2014, the High Court upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a deeply-entrenched belief” in caste system.
Mrs Katara had to struggle in getting the police to investigate the case properly given that the accused were the sons of an influential politician. It took 13 years and continuous struggle of the brave-heart to finally see her son getting justice. The Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s verdict.
It costs mental, emotional and financial drainage to get justice in this country but for those who gloat even after committing a sin- they have nothing to lose.
We salute the herculean efforts put in by the brave mothers. They stand as an example to all those who gave up.
– Aksheev Ajay Thakur