Sanjay Dutt greets fans outside his residence after his release from Pune’s Yerawada Jail, in Mumbai, Feb. 25. (Shashank Parade | PTI)
As actor Sanjay Dutt was released from Pune’s Yerawada prison, Feb. 25, where he served his sentence for 42 months in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, his co-stars and friends from Bollywood have wished him a peaceful life and a great career ahead. (@siliconeer, #siliconeer, #bollywood, #sanjaydutt, @sanjaydutt)
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said the 56-year-old Dutt would emerge stronger. “People have always written his obituary but he has bounced back. He has dazzled everyone with his work. This time too I am hopeful he will come out as a more stronger man,” Bhatt told PTI.
“I think now on, this will be the best years of his life with new beginnings,” he said.
Bhatt recalled how he and Dutt began their respective careers together and delivered several hits. The duo worked together on films like “Naam,” “Gumrah,” “Sadak” and others.
“I don’t look at him as an actor and even he doesn’t look at me as a director. While making “Naam” we came close emotionally,” he added.
The “Saaransh” director wishes Dutt and his family all the best.
“His wife Manyata wanted me to be at his home today. I think this is a personal moment for him and I don’t want to invade on this time. I would surely meet him soon,” Bhatt said.
The onscreen “Munnabhai” has given memorable performances in many of Subhash Ghai’s films, the most memorable being “Khalnayak.”
“If I know Sanjay Dutt since “Vidhaata” and “Khalnayak”..
he will come out this time with much more maturity and sense of responsibility as a human being and also as a bigger star onscreen than ever,” Ghai said.
“He wants to focus on his career as an actor, nothing else. That’s what he told me two months back,” he adds.
Before going to prison in 2013 to serve the remainder of his five-year term, Dutt was working on director Rensil D’Silva’s “Ungli.”
“(Now) He needs rest… he needs to relax first, spend time with his family and near and dear ones. He is a great friend. I am happy he is back. And I wish him a peaceful life,” Rensil said.
“He was going through a lot emotionally while we worked on the film but still he completed the project,” Rensil said.
Actress Gracy Singh, who shared screen space with Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani’s “Munnabhai MBBS,” is elated for the actor.
“I am happy for him. I wish him immense happiness and success,” she said.
Both Rensil and Gracy would love to team with up with the “Khalnayak” star again.
“I would love to work with him again. But as of now there is no such story idea or script that I have for him,” Rensil said.
While Gracy said, “I am an admirer of his work. I would love to work with him again. It would be great working with him in the third part of ‘Munnabhai’ … if I am offered (the project).”
Actress Juhi Chawla took to Twitter to welcome Dutt.
“Welcome back Sanjay ..!! Very very happy for all the Dutt family ..!!! Wish Sanjay all Gods blessings …..!!”
Dutt was arrested on April 19, 1993, and subsequently convicted for possessing a prohibited weapon, AK-56 rifle, under the Arms Act, in the Mumbai serial bomb blast case.
Originally sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment (RI) by TADA court, Dutt got some relief form the Supreme Court, which while upholding the TADA conviction, reduced his sentence to five years in February 2013.
The actor was released Feb. 25, after undergoing remaining 42 months of his sentence as he had already served 18 months in prison as an under-trial at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.
Director Umesh Shukla wished Dutt a great life ahead.
“We are happy that he is finally free from all the charges… I won’t be meeting him today, I feel he should spend time with his family. It’s an emotional moment for him.
I will definitely meet him later.
“I had narrated a story to him which he really liked.
Whenever I meet him, I will discuss the story in detail and then take it forward. I am keen to work with him.”
Director Madhur Bhandarkar said Dutt will have a great career ahead.
“The entire film industry is happy for him. It is a great occasion for his friends, family and fans. I am sure he will come back with great movies now… He has always been the star of the masses, his popularity has been there despite everything,” Bhandarkar said.