MUMBAI (NEWS): The jail-bound Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was given five years in prison last week by the Indian supreme court for his connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts, said here on Thursday sobbing that he will not seek pardon and go to jail.
“All I can tell you is I have not applied for pardon,’’ said the dejected actor at a press conference where he was accompanied by his sister and MP Priya Dutt.
He said, “There are many other people who deserve pardon. I want to tell with folded hands to the media, the honourable citizens of the country that when I am not going for pardon then there can be no debate about it.’’
The 53-year-old actor said, “The honourable supreme court has given me time to surrender and I will surrender in that time.’’ He has four weeks to surrender.
Sanjay Dutt broke down when he said, “These are very, very tough times in my life and in our lives. I want to thank everybody who supported us and me. I just want to tell everyone from the media that I have got very few days left and I want to finish all my work. I also have to spend time with my family.’’
He added, “I am shattered and this is the tough time in my life. With folded hands I request the media and citizens let me be at peace.’’
The actor was first arrested in April 1993 after an AK-56 rifle and a 9mm pistol were recovered from him. He spent 18 months in jail. The AK-56 was part of a consignment of weapons smuggled from Pakistan into India to cause the serial blasts.
The serial blasts, which aimed to revenge the destruction of the Babri Masjid and subsequent riots in Mumbai, were planned by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim who is hiding in Pakistan. In the 13 blasts that rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993, 257 people were killed and over 700 injured.
Sanjay Dutt was sentenced by a special court in 2007 to six years in jail. Last week, the Indian supreme court upheld the verdict but reduced his sentence to five years from six years. He has four weeks to surrender.
Before he surrenders, some people, including Indian Press Council chief Markandey Katju and Bollywood stars such as Jaya Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha have pleaded for clemency for the actor.