Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy are the parents of Unnati and Ujjwal both victims of the Uphaar Cinema fire. They continue to live in their home in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, with their children's memories. Despite court victories for Neelam, Shekhar, and their organization AVUT, their fight is far from over. They continue to believe that their two children have not received justice.
The Indian series Trial by Fire on Netflix is based on the true story of the 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy, which killed 59 people and injured over a hundred more. On Friday, January 13, 2023, Netflix released the seven-episode series which stars Abhay Deol as Shekhar Krishnamoorthy and Rajshri Deshpande as Neelam Krishnamoorthy.
It follows the heartbreaking journey of two parents, Shekhar and Neelam after their two children are killed in a devastating fire. The unfathomable loss drives them to seek answers and justice for the deaths of their children.
Prashant Nair and Kevin Luperchio, the show's creators, encompass the vast impact of this incident, unravel the circumstances that led to the tragedy and depict flaws in the Indian justice system in a gripping and poignant narrative. The series follows the efforts of Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, parents of two of the victims, Unnati and Ujjwal, to obtain justice for the victims' families.
Neelam and Shekhar, as depicted in the series, have been fighting for the justice that the victims and their families deserve for nearly two and a half decades. Follow this article to learn more about Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy's story.
What's in Trial by Fire? Don't forget to check if the story is real or not and all the other details!
Neelam (@Neelamshekhar) and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy are the parents of Unnati and Ujjwal both victims of the Uphaar Cinema fire. At their Noida home, photo frames of the children are displayed on a wooden cabinet next to one of the living room's decorated walls. At the time of their deaths, Unnati was 17 and Ujjwal was 13. The daughter was a moviegoer, and her parents were always willing to provide her and Ujjwal with movie tickets to the latest releases. The parents were simply following tradition on June 13, 1997. Unnati, who had just finished her Class 12 and was enrolled in a Company Secretary course, and Ujjwal, who aspired to be a marine engineer one day.
On June 13, 1997, a fire broke out in the Uphaar Cinema theatre, allegedly due to improper maintenance of the establishment's electric transformer, resulting in a stampede and the deaths of 59 people, including Neelam and Shekhar's two children. After grieving the deaths of their children, Neelam and Shekhar thoroughly researched the tragedy and realized that the fire could have been avoided, prompting them to file a lawsuit against the establishment's owners, Sushil and Gopal Ansal.
Under the tutorship of Supreme Court of India advocate K. T. S. Tulsi, Neelam and Shekhar formed the Association of The Victims of Uphaar Tragedy and reached out to the families of the other victims in order to begin a legal battle against the Ansals. AVUT filed a civil compensation suit against them as well as the Delhi government. In 2003, the Delhi High Court found the Ansals, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Vidyut Board, and the licensing authority negligent and ordered the guilty parties to pay 25 crores to the victims' families.
Meanwhile, Neelam and Shekhar's struggle did not end with the compensation case. The Delhi police filed an evidence-tampering case against the Ansals in response to a petition filed by AVUT through Neelam. The Ansals and the other defendants were sentenced to two years in prison in 2007. Sushil and Gopal were sentenced to seven years in prison in the aforementioned evidence-tampering case as a result of Neelam and Shekhar's decades-long legal battles.
Despite favorable court decisions for Neelam, Shekhar, and their organization AVUT, their fight is far from over. Neelam and Shekhar continue to believe that justice has not been served to their two children, Unnati and Ujjwal, and other victims, which fuels their legal battle. They didn't spend as much time on Earth with their children as they did seeking justice for their murders. They've been sentenced to death for the past 26 years, and it's still going on. The words of the Krishnamoorthys are linked to Sushil and Gopal's release from prison following a July 2022 verdict.
In 2016, Neelam and Shekhar published their book Trial by Fire: The Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy to provide a detailed account of the tragedy, its aftermath, and the subsequent legal battles. After losing faith in India's judicial system, the couple became involved with the television adaptation of their book. They hope that their story will inspire others to be and remain resilient in the face of an accused-friendly judicial system.