Sanjay Jailed: Politicians divided over actor's 'innocence'

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New Delhi, March 25: Politicians and political parties are openly expressing their views whether Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt should be sent to jail or not.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, March 21 upheld actor Dutt's conviction under the Arms Act, but reduced his sentence from six to five years in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

Sanjay Dutt

Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday, March 25, Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe says pardoning Sanjay Dutt will send the wrong message. However, in the initial days of the case, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray openly supported Sanjay Dutt.

But, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has a view which clashes with Shiv Sena, when it comes to forgiving Dutt.

"Sanjay Dutt is not a criminal or terrorist. The atmosphere was bad in 1993 and he behaved like an immature child," said Singh on Sunday.

The congress general secretary said the actor was then under the impression that his father was being targeted for supporting the Muslim cause, so he may have done it.

"He made a mistake and paid the price for it by going to jail for 18 months," he said.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said he was opposed to granting any remission to actor Dutt.

"Granting any remission to Sanjay Dutt would set a bad precedent. Sanjay Dutt should not be pardoned simply because he is a celebrity", Munde said at a function here on Saturday.

Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan said she would appeal to Maharashtra governor K Sankarnarayanan to pardon Dutt. "I agree with everyone that he has suffered a lot. I believe that he should not be given such a big punishment. He is a changed man now. I'm going to personally appeal to the governor and ask him to pardon him," the Samajwadi Party MP said.

Jaya's demand came close on the heels of Katju's appeal that Dutt had suffered for 20 years and should be pardoned.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi refused to comment on the issue. "If a mercy petition is filed, the Governor or the President will review it. This is not a matter for me to comment on," said Alvi.

However, senior RSS leader MG Vaidya is against any leniency towards the actor. "It is a serious offence. He should not be pardoned," said Vaidya.

OneIndia News

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