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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Victims decry pleas to pardon actor

Nidhi Varma, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 23, 2013
First Published: 02:16 IST(23/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:17 IST(23/3/2013)

Victims of the 1993 serial blasts have been left agitated by high-ranking officials and B-town stars asking Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan to pardon Sanjay Dutt in Mumbai blasts case.

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Press Council chief Markandey Katju and Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari were among those who asked for the actor to be let off.

Kamala Malkani, a survivor who lives in Worli said, "Being a celebrity shouldn't give him the perks to place an appeal against the SC decision. If this is the case, people will commit crimes without fearing of any kind of punishment."

Another victim, Kirti Ajmera said: "People supporting Dutt should realise the truth and instead of talking in his favour, they should come together and contribute for the victims." Ajmera also questioned why celebrities are given so much importance.

"Government officials should have accepted the decision given out by SC without interfering in the matter."

Another survivor from Worli, Vinayak Devrukhkar said, "It took 20 years for us to get relief in the way of the SC verdict. Now, hearing the ongoing discussion on Dutt's appeal makes me numb. If the appeal is accepted, common people such as us will lose faith in the judiciary."

On March 12, 1993, 13 blasts killed 257 people in key areas of the city. Thursday's Supreme Court verdict convicted 97 people and upheld the death sentence for conspirator Yakub Memon. It also stated that Dutt's six year jail sentence for possessing illegal arms be cut to five years.


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