Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt has been ordered by the Indian Supreme Court to spend five years in jail, in connection to the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Sanjay was convicted in 2006 for being in possession of an illegal AK-56 firearm which he bought from those who planned the tragic blasts in Mumbai. 257 people died from this incident and 713 were wounded. Sanjay already spent 18 months in jail during this period, and has been ordered to serve the remaining three and a half years of his sentence. The case has been on-going for 20 years.
In an official public statement regarding his sentence, Sanjay had this to say to his fans and supporters, “I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more I have to be strong. I am heartbroken because today along with me, my 3 children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment. I have always respected the judicial system and will continue to do so, even with tears in my eyes. I am going to complete all my films and won’t let anyone down. I am overwhelmed by the support of my fans the industry people, the media and all the well-wishers. They have always stood by me and supported me. I know in my heart that i have always been a good human being, respected the system and always been loyal to my country. My family is very emotional right now and I have to be strong for them. I am shattered and in emotional distress. I am sorry I can’t come down and meet you all. God is great and he will guide me through this.”
Sanjay’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde stated the following to the Indian press following the Court’s verdict, “He will have to serve another three-and-a-half year sentence. We had prepared him for the same. We will wait for a copy of the judgement and then decide the further course of action,” he said. “He is a strong man and will fight back.”
Sanjay still has four films to complete and at present, their fate is unpredictable given the circumstances. This is arguably one of the most high-profile cases to have emerged from the Bollywood film industry. Sanjay’s sentence has shocked many people, which include family, friends and film personalities. He has been told by the Court to surrender himself within four weeks in order to complete his remaining sentence.