Help my mum, says Zaibunisa’s daughter

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The daughter of Zaibunisa Anwar Kazi (75), whose sentence of five years’ rigorous imprisonment in the 1993 serial blasts was upheld by the Supreme Court, has approached director Mahesh Bhatt to speak for her just like he and others in the film industry have spoken up for Sanjay Dutt.

Zaibunnisa was convicted for keeping in her house weapons that were from the same cache of arms delivered to Dutt. Seeking leniency, her daughter, a city-based designer, said, “I saw Mahesh Bhatt on TV fighting for Sanjay Dutt. So I went to ask him to help my mother. She is innocent and I cannot imagine my life without her.”

Bhatt said he would extend help. “She wept helplessly. She firmly believes that her mother… was made to look like a heartless accomplice of those who organized the blasts. A review petition is the only legal remedy for Zaibunissa. The last option is to appeal for mercy to the President. As a human rights activist, I will amplify her cry for mercy.”

The daughter said, “I have been fighting for my mother’s freedom for the last 20 years. I did not get married as she is my life and her life revolves around her children. She is 75 and was recently operated for a tumor in her kidney, which fortunately turned out to be benign. But she needs to undergo medical tests every few months. Her diet has to be kept in control, otherwise her feet swell up.”

She said she had no issues with the film industry fighting for Dutt; she only wanted her mother’s case to receive attention as well. “My mother is not a criminal and has no association with the underworld. She knew Abu Salem as a real estate agent and he would come to our house in that connection. My mother didn’t even know that he had left a bag at our place.”

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