Mumbai: As the clamour grows for pardoning actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, the Shiv Sena has said that it will oppose any such move. Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Sena leader Neelam Gorhe says pardoning Sanjay Dutt will send the wrong message.
It is a surprising turn considering it was late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray who supported Sanjay Dutt in the case initially.
On Sunday, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh too had called for pardoning Dutt, who has been convicted in the 1993 bomb blast case. "Sanjay Dutt is not a criminal. He is not a terrorist. The atmosphere was bad in 1993 and he reacted to it like any child would. He made a mistake and paid the price for it by going to jail for 18 months," Digvijaya Singh had said.
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.
On Saturday, Chairman of Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju said Dutt should be pardoned and that he will meet the Maharashtra Chief Minister on the issue. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Justice Katju had said, "I am not questioning the Supreme Court verdict. I have sent an appeal to the Governor requesting him to pardon Sanjay Dutt and I have said this on humanitarian reasons."
The apex court found the actor guilty of acquiring illegal weapons from those blamed for the bombings in Mumbai that killed 257 people and was given four weeks to surrender.