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‘I planted a tight slap on Sanjay Dutt’s face… he revealed everything while crying like a child’: Rakesh Maria’s autobiography

No controversy has been as persistent and damaging to Sanjay Dutt's career and reputation as the case involving the illegal possession of arms he found himself tangled in.

Sanjay Dutt , sunil duttSanjay Dutt with his father Sunil Dutt. (Express archive photo by Neeraj Priyadarshi)

Sanjay Dutt has been a part of several controversies over the years, but none has been as persistent and damaging to his career and reputation than the case involving illegal possession of arms he found himself tangled in. He was also accused of being involved in the 1993 Bombay bombings.

Dutt was convicted and imprisoned for keeping a 9mm pistol, an AK-56 rifle, hand grenades and ammunition but was cleared of charges related to his involvement in the bombings orchestrated by Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.

Talking about his questioning of Sanjay after he was detained, Maria writes in his book ‘Let Me Say It Now’, that Sanjay first claimed innocence. “The tension and stress of the last few days caught up with me. I could not bear the lie and couldn’t help but plant a tight slap on his cheek. He tilted backwards, his legs going up in mid-air and I swiftly held him by his mane of long, gold-tilted hair. Looking literally down upon him into his horrified and scared eyes, I said, ‘I am asking you like a gentleman, you answer like one’,” a report in IANS says.

As per excerpts from the autobiography, the then Deputy Commissioner Police who was tasked to solve the case, said that Sanjay’s father Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Mahesh Bhatt, Yash Johar and Baldev Khosla visited him after Sanjay’s arrest.

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As Sunil protested his son’s innocence, the accused was called in. Sanjay admitted his mistake to his father, leaving him shocked, and also said he destroyed the weapons

Maria writes that Sunil was “stunned” with this admission of guilt. As he watched him closely, he observed that the expression on his face is difficult to put into words. The blood had drained from his face. The confession’s had left him speechless and incredulous. The “magnitude and gravity” of his son’s actions left him a broken man, and “his reputation, stature and standing punctured and deflated.”

Maria says that Sanjay was ‘an emotional wreck’ during his custody and would often request a meeting with him. The policeman was worried that the actor may cause himself bodily harm and would meet him at night when all his important work was done. Sanjay would talk about his troubled past, addictions, attachment to his mother Nargis Dutt, how her death left him broken, and his romantic affairs. He would ‘cry incessantly’ during the interactions. The blasts left 257 innocents dead and 1,400 injured.

First published on: 13-06-2022 at 09:49 IST
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