Heaving a sigh of relief at the acquittal of Sanjay Dutt under the provisions of TADA in the 1993 blasts here, his co-star in the Munna Bhai series Arshad Warsi said he was grateful the actor had been convicted on 'milder' charges.
"We thank the Almighty that he has been given a milder conviction," Warsi said, referring to Sanjay being pronounced guilty by the court of Judge P D Kode under the Arms Act.
Talking to a news channel, Warsi said Sanjay's friends had been praying for him. "Thank God, they did not say that he is a terrorist. He is not a terrorist, not a criminal," emphasised Warsi. "He is a clear cut good man."
Warsi, who played Circuit, the loyal sidekick to Sanjay's Munna Bhai in the superhit films, said, "Eveybody makes stupid mistakes and every actor in the film industry at one point of time must have thought of possessing a weapon. It is the way the country is running," he said, referring to threats recently issued to filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
Warsi hopes that Sanjay would return home soon, 'as the whole country loves him.'
While most of Dutt's co-actors in the blockbuster Lage Raho Munna Bhai reacted with relief to his conviction on the lesser charge of possessing arms, the man who played the key role of Mahatma Gandhi in the film preferred to keep mum on the issue. Dilip Prabhawalkar, who essayed the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the film, declined to comment. "I am busy. I have to rush to a shooting," he said.
Boman Irani, who played unscrupulous builder Lucky Singh in the film, said, "Sanjay has suffered a lot and the court's verdict (clearing him) on TADA charges has come as a big relief to him."