'If I must suffer more, must be strong'
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I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more, I have to be strong," Sanjay Dutt said in a statement on Thursday after his sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court.
"I am heartbroken because today along with me, my three children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment," the statement read. "I have always respected the judicial system and will continue to do so, even with tears in my eyes. I am going to complete all my films and won't let anyone down."
His ongoing projects include Rajkumar Hirani's Peekay, Apoorv Lakhia's remake of the Amitabh Bachchan classic Zanjeer, Soham Shah's Sher, and South Indian filmmaker K S Ravikumar's Bollywood debut Policegiri. Work for Zanjeer and Sher is over, while both Peekay and Policegiri had about 15 days' shoot remaining, apart from the dubbing. Dutt is also in the cast for Ungli, being produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Production, and is supposed to make special appearances in Ghanchakkar and Hum Hai Rahi Car ke.
Many members of the industry reached Dutt's home in Bandra to express solidarity. Among them were directors Hirani, Lakhia, Sujoy Ghosh, Milan Luthria and actress Vidya Balan.
"I am overwhelmed by the support of my fans, the industry people, the media and all the well-wishers," he said. "They have always stood by me and supported me. My family is very emotional right now and I have to be strong for them. I am shattered and in emotional distress."
The third instalment of the Munnabhai series has been announced and is in the scripting stage. The director, Subhash Kapoor, says that with Hirani busy with Peekay and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra currently in the US, the film's fate will be decided later.
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