| Sanjay outside court and (right) with sister Priya at a ceremony to mark his father’s death anniversary. (Reuters, PTI)
Mumbai, May 25: Grieving son, dutiful brother, cold-blooded cop and convict to boot.
Even for a professional actor like Sanjay Dutt, Friday was a tough act as he slipped in and out of a series of roles.
Summoned by a special court on the day of his father’s second death anniversary and the release of Shootout at Lokhandwala, Sanjay put in a brief appearance before leaving early with judge Pramod Kode’s permission.
His lawyer Farhana Shah requested the court delivering the 1993 Bombay blast sentences to let him leave early so that he could perform the rites to mark Sunil Dutt’s death anniversary.
The actor also attended a Congress prayer meeting in honour of his father with sisters Namrata and Priya. Sanjay reached the Bhaidas Hall venue around 2.30 pm.
In a contemplative mood, he offered floral tributes to his father. He sat for nearly an hour, listening to Congress leaders pay tribute.
Among those who attended the ceremony were information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi and Congressmen Ashok Gehlot and Suresh Pachauri.
Last night, Sanjay — convicted for possessing an AK-56 rifle and a 9-mm pistol — attended the premiere of Shootout at Lokhandwala at a city theatre. In the film, he portrays a tough-talking anti-terror squad chief who gunned down Dawood Ibrahim gangsters Maya Dolas and Dilip Buwa in a dramatic six-hour daylight encounter at Andheri’s Lokhandwala Complex in 1991.
Back at the special court, Kode gave eight convicts — including a close associate of Tiger Memon and a father-son duo — terms ranging from five to 10 years.
Memon aide Mohammed Shahid Nizamuddin Qureshi was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 25,000 for his complicity in the landing of arms and ammunition at Dighi on the Raigad coast in January 1993.
The CBI said Qureshi travelled via Dubai to Pakistan for arms training, but returned without any.
“He was one of the privileged ones to have accompanied Tiger in a small boat…. This shows his close association with Tiger Memon,” Kode said.
Qureshi, in his late 30s, has completed 11 years in jail and could be freed if he pays the fine. But he is also accused in a passport forgery case in Lucknow.
The father-son duo, Issaq Mohammed Hajwani and Sikandar, were sentenced for receiving training at Sandheri Hills in Raigad. Hajwani was sentenced to seven years and asked to pay a fine of Rs 70,000. His son was handed five years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000.