|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
The Rediff Special/Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
Sanjay Dutt: 'I needed the rifles only till the riots ended'
November 25, 2005
Actor Sanjay Dutt, who was arrested by the Mumbai police in 1993 for possessing fire arms, had given a statement while under arrest. In the first part of the statement sourced by rediff.com, we told you how he was acquainted with underworld gangster Abu Salem, recently extradited from Portugal.
This is the second part of the statement that he later withdrew:
Point to note: The statement by an accused or witnesses before the police does not necessarily mean that it's the truth.
I had met Salem once or twice earlier also. Then, the three (Sameer, Hanif and Salem) told me they were coming the next morning with the weapons.
The next morning, all three came to my house along with one more person who I do not know.
They came in a Maruti car and parked it in a shed in our house. One person was sitting inside the car.
After about 15-20 minutes, he took out three rifles and said they were AK -56 rifles.
I got some clothes and gave it to them. Salem and the person who had come with him wrapped the rifles in it. When I opened the bundle later, I saw three rifles and some magazines.
They told me there were 250 rounds of ammunition. These were kept in another handbag I fetched. On seeing the three rifles I got scared and told them that I wanted only one.
Hanif and Salem told me to keep it for the time being and that they will take it back in case I did not require them. They showed me some hand grenades and asked me if I want them too.
I told them that I did not want the grenades and asked them the leave the house.
I can identify the man who was in the car and the hand grenades if shown. I kept these rifles and ammunition in the boot of my Fiat car (No- MMU 4372) and locked it.
On the same night, I moved the rifles and ammunition to my room on the second floor of my house.
The pressure was too much and two days later, I contacted Hanif Kadawala and requested him to take the weapons back.
He said he will send somebody to collect them.
After two days, Hanif and Sameer, along with Salem, came to my house in the evening in a car.
I kept one AK 56 rifle and part of the ammunition and returned the rest.
I also told them that I would need the rifle only till the riots subsided.
About a week later, I called up Hanif Kadawala and requested him to take away the rifle and the ammunition as the riots were under control.
I told him I no more needed the weapon. I was also under great duress and realised that possessing the weapon was not the right thing to do.
However, Hanif Kadawala showed no inclination to take it back.
I, therefore, instructed my secretary not to give any dates for their movie so they will realise that I would not cooperate with them.
This led to a couple of heated discussions between them and my secretary.
When later I finally met them, they said the rifle was my problem.
In September 1992, during one of my shootings at RK Studio, one Kayyum, a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang and who had met me in Dubai during the shoot of Yalgar, approached me with a stranger.
They offered me a 9 mm pistol with ammunition.
When I saw it, liked it and had a strong desire to purchase it. They offered it for Rs 40000.
I paid cash to them at my house and purchased it. I do not know the name of the other man who came with Kayyum.
He was about 35 or 38 years old, apparently a Muslim, was dark, 5' 8" tall, stout, and had medium-length curly hair.
I will be able to identify him if I see him. He also handed over eight rounds of ammunition for the pistol.
After the riots, I thought of either informing the police about the weapons or dumping them, but out of fear that I might spoil my family's reputation or that my father might reprimand me, I kept the weapons. After this, I carried on with my normal shooting schedule.
On March 12, 1993, I got news about the Mumbai blasts while shooting for Jai Vikrant in Jaipur. I was quite shocked.
After that, while I was shooting for Sanam, Hanif, Sameer and I used to chat about films and other things in general. During one such conversation, Hanif and Sameer boasted about a new friend by name Tiger Memon and were telling me that he was very dynamic and daring.
They said that even the customs and the police were afraid of him and that he was a very good friend. They also occasionally used to talk about their friendship with Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees.
On April 2, I left for Mauritius to shoot for the film Aatish. There, an acquaintance of mine informed me that Hanif and Sameer were arrested for complicity in the Mumbai blasts.
On hearing the news, I got frightened as these were the guys who had given me the rifle.
I was afraid that they might drop my name to the police.
I called up my friend Yusuf Nullwala and told him to remove the weapons hidden in a black bag kept in the second floor of my house.
By that time, news about me having the rifles had appeared in the press.
On knowing this, my father asked me about it, but I denied any knowledge of it.
I grew very anxious about the whole thing and decided to return to Mumbai.
My father had already informed the police about my flight plan and I was picked up as soon as I landed in Mumbai.
The above statement was read by me and it contains the full account of the fact stated.
Sanjay Dutt/ 28-04-1993
Next, Who else talked what about Abu Salem in 1993
The Rediff Specials