The fire blazed through a makeshift tent where a large number of hijras had gathered to honour deceased friends.
The incident created panic among community members who had gathered for the ceremony. Several others who tried to escape were also injured.
“We stand together with more than 50 seriously injured hijras, families of deceased hijras and with the hijra community as a whole in this moment of deep sorrow. From media reports it is very clear that fire safety measures and emergency evacuation facilities were not adequate in the Delhi Municipal Corporation’s community hall, where more than 1,000 members of the transgender community had gathered as part of its community congregation,” said a joint statement issued by executive director of Sangama Manohar Elavarthi and State coordinator of the forum Mahesh Patil.
“We strongly condemn the negligence of the Delhi Government for not putting fire safety systems in place, which would have saved precious lives,” the statement said.
‘The Delhi Government should immediately put in place fire safety measures at all public venues in Delhi,” the statement added.