Sanjay Dutt said on Thursday he is "shattered" by the Supreme Court verdict sentencing him to five years in prison in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. He said he will complete all his pending films, and that he ought to be strong in these trying times for his family and children.
"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 heart broken because today along with me, my three children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment," Sanjay said in a statement.
Sanjay, who has been asked to surrender within four weeks and has projects estimated at Rs. 250 crore riding on him, added: "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."
Sanjay is currently married to Manyata, with whom he entered wedlock in 2008. She is his third wife. The actor has two children with Manyata - twins Shahraan and Iqra - and elder daughter Trishala from his first wife Richa Sharma.
The actor, who was convicted under the Arms Act for illegally possessing weapons, had been awarded six years imprisonment by the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court.
However, the apex court reduced the sentence from six years to five years. This effectively means that Dutt will be in jail for three years and six months as he has already undergone 18 months imprisonment.
The apex court on Thursday upheld Sanjay's conviction under the Arms Act in the terror attack for illegal possession of a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle.
The Supreme Court also upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and commuted the death sentence of 10 others in relation with the blasts, in which a series of 13 car bomb blasts ripped across Mumbai.
Several actors and filmmakers from the Hindi movie industry came out on social networking sites to share how "good-hearted" the 53-year-old, Bollywood's much-loved "Munna Bhai" really is.
"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 added.
Sanjay, the son of Bollywood legends Nargis and Sunil Dutt, has films like the "Zanjeer" remake, "Policegiri", "Munna Bhai 3" and "P.K." in the works.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)