Mumbai: As film stars and politicians join the chorus for actor Sanjay Dutt’s pardon, daughter of Zaibunisa Kazi, who is facing similar charges as the actor, questions why her mother should not also get the same support?
Daughter of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, Zaibunisa said, “I wish I was a celebrity or my mother was a celebrity or a sister of an MP. Even my mother would have got the kind of support Sanjay Dutt is getting. If it is on humanitarian grounds then why only Sanjay Dutt, why not Zaibunisa. Isn’t she a human? Isn’t she a citizen of this country?
The daughter of 70-year-old reacting to the clamour over pardon for Dutt after the debate was ignited by a comment by retired Justice Markandey Katju and which was followed by the political class seconding his opinion.
Zaibunisa’s 40 year-old daughter, who didn’t marry so that she can fight her mother’s battle, is hopeful that a review potion will reduce the sentence.
Both Dutt and Zaibunisa Kazi were charged for possessing illegal arms and ammunition and also under the stringent TADA Act. While Zaibunisa got convicted under TADA, Sanjay Dutt not only got an acquital under TADA but despite substantial evidence the CBI did not challenge his acquittal in the Supreme Court.
Zaibunisa’s lawyer Sushil Kumar said, “She was not found in possession of any weapons, no recovery was made from her, she did not give any confession. It was only on the basis of a confession of a co-accused that she was convicted, it is unfortunate.”
Zaibunisa daughter added, “It is not easy living with five daughters, being a single woman and going through this. It is not easy and 20 years is a very long time.” While for the judicial system, 1993 Mumbai Blasts case is a closed chapter, for many the ordeal isn’t over yet.