The latest to join the bandwagon of “pardon Sanjay Dutt” is Mamta Bannerjee, the whimsical chief minister of West Bengal. Before her, almost entire Bollywood, the so-called “prominent” political leaders and even a mentally befuddled member of Judiciary have been advocating his pardon, and in fact the whole thing has become an obsession with the who-is-who of the country.
This has totally baffled the common citizens, especially, thanks to the Internet, those who have access to detailed information and not the expurgated form that appears in mainstream media. They know that even if Sanjay Dutt wasn’t a terrorist, he definitely hobnobbed with the top terrorists and underworld members of the subcontinent, and that too, knowingly.
Up till now my knowledge of what actually happened in 1993 and to what extent Sanjay Dutt was involved was quite limited. For instance I only knew of the purchase of a couple of guns. I had no idea that he had purchased multiple AK-56s, magazines as well as grenades. To make matters worse, these weapons were a part of the consignment that had been smuggled into the country from the neighboring Pakistan to cause large-scale destruction and disturbance in the country. Many may say that (as Diggy has insinuated that he was just a kid at that time) he had no knowledge of why the weapons had been smuggled into the country but one has to be a total buffoon in order to be ignorant of such a fact, especially during those days. Even secretly he never tried to inform the police that weapons were being imported and some terrorist activity was going on. His detractors also claim that he knew of the impending blasts. Doesn’t that make him an accomplice?
The law agencies at every stage have tried to mitigate his involvement. Bizarrely, he is only being punished under the arms act whereas many of his accomplices were booked under TADA. According to this old Tehelka article, Sanjay Dutt was in direct contact with Anees Ibrahim who is the brother of the notorious underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. This portion is quite revealing:
The crucial information that Sanjay had been calling Anees came from the filmstar himself. Says MN Singh, who headed the investigation, “He himself said that he had made the calls. This information came from him and only then did we get the supporting mtnl printouts.” The printouts showed that seven calls had been made to Anees’s number at White House in Dubai. The police also took a sworn affidavit from the Indian Embassy in Dubai saying that the Dubai number to which the calls were made by Sanjay was indeed that of Dawood’s brother. The police also procured the Dubai telephone directory which mentioned the same number against Anees’s name. Only a few of the over 150 accused in the serial blasts case had been in touch with either Dawood or Anees while the blasts conspiracy was being hatched. Sanjay was one of them. All these records were handed over to the CBI. However, when the time came to pin Sanjay down in court, the CBI chose to omit the record related to the telephone calls in its final submission against Sanjay before the TADA court. The prosecution’s submission, a copy of which is with Tehelka, reveals that the CBI has not brought the telephone conversation-related evidence on record. Sources in the CBI said that since the court had not accepted the telephone records as evidence against Sanjay, they decided to delete them from their written submission. Maneshinde also revealed that the calls “have not come on record”.
In what appears to be a dilution, the CBI also failed to press the charge of destruction of evidence against Sanjay in their written submission. Initially, when the Mumbai Police filed the chargesheet, a copy of which is with Tehelka, they had slapped Sanjay with that charge. Nullwala, who destroyed the weapons on Sanjay’s instruction, has been convicted under the Arms Act. Commenting on the disparity, he told Tehelka, “This will always happen… this is nothing new… See this thing… politicians… they do every possible thing… nothing happens to them… Why? It comes in the paper… it comes on the idiot box every single day… but what happens… it’s always people like us, we have to suffer… you know, we are the example for the world…”
According to this article the CBI totally muddled that case by failing to establish that the arms that reached Sanjay Dutt’s house were the same arms that had been smuggled into the country to cause widespread unrest and this is what totally mitigated his involvement.
According to another article in The Indian Express,
The masterminds of the 1993 bomb blasts in Bombay had a twin agenda. One was to attack the city through a series of explosions, and the other was to arm members of their community well enough to hold their own in communal clashes the blasts were expected to trigger.
For this, assault rifles, pistols and hand grenades were brought from Pakistan and several young men were also taken to Pakistan and given arms training, police officers linked to the investigation recalled after this week’s Supreme Court verdict in the 20-year-old case.
The arms landed at two places in Raigad district and one in Gujarat. The Gujarat consignment was hidden in the cavity of a vehicle and brought to Mumbai by road, driven by Abu Salem, who went on to become a prominent gangster.
Salem and his accomplices needed a quiet place to open the welded cavity and remove the arsenal. The office of Magnum Productions, owned by Hanif Kadawala and Sameer Hingora, on Linking Road in Bandra, was chosen. Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anees called Hingora and Kadawala and told them to allow Salem to use their compound.
The partners, however, were involved in a dispute with their landlord and did not want to risk catching his attention and suggested using actor Sanjay Dutt’s house instead.
Dutt was contacted and he agreed. Hingora went with Salem after the latter feared he would not be allowed inside by the guards, and the vehicle was taken to Dutt’s garage.
“The Mumbai Police had provided some guards for Sunil and Sanjay Dutt in light of the 1992-93 riots, and the garage was in direct line of sight from where they were stationed. Dutt asked them to move over to another gate, after which the cavity in the vehicle was opened and the arsenal extracted,” said one officer.
Isn’t it strange that when dreaded terrorists were looking for a place to open the welded cavities of the van in which weapons had been concealed they decided to contact Sanjay Dutt, just like that? Actually, just like that. Would gangsters and terrorists randomly call someone, and that too the son of an influential politician, to help them retrieve weapons from a vehicle simply because they don’t have any other place? Even if he hadn’t kept the arms illegally with him, isn’t it quite extraordinary that the top terrorists of the subcontinent were so comfortable with him that they could trust him with such knowledge? Doesn’t this establish the fact that he already enjoyed close links with such elements to such an extent that they easily took him into confidence while carrying out such a serious operation?
Just illegal arms act? Error of judgment? Youthful indiscretion? Who are we kidding?
It was also brought to my notice that even in 2002 (and the recording was played on live TV) he was calling up gangsters to sort out another actor Govinda. And this was something that was caught. Who knows what all operations he has been running with his underworld contacts? Alarmingly, people support him across political and ideological lines despite his long-standing association with the underworld. The late Balasaheb Thakerey said about him, “All the boy needs is three tight slaps.”
This only means two things: these people are totally dumb or unconcerned about the safety of the country, or at one stage or another, they have benefited from this association of his.