Why The Journalist Who Broke Sanjay Dutt's 'AK-56' Story Won't Watch 'Sanju'

Veteran Journalist has slammed the movie, calling it an attempt "to make a quick buck" by overusing the sympathy card for Dutt's character

On April 16, 1993, veteran journalist Baljeet Parmar broke the news of Sanjay Dutt’s links in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. “Sanjay Has An AK-56” was the headline of Parmar’s breaking news report in a Mumbai tabloid prompting Dutt’s lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, to send him a Rs 1 crore legal notice, asking him to provide evidence.

As it turned out, Dutt was charged with possession of the illegal weapon and awarded a punishment of five years in prison.  Now, Sanjay’s tumultuous life has been adapted into a feature film by director Raj Kumar Hirani, where he is being portrayed as a misunderstood man with a “heart of gold”. Unsurprisingly so, With Hirani’s signature emotional antics at display, Sanju is having a dream run at the box office.

However, in a Facebook post, Parmar has slammed the movie, calling it an attempt “to make a quick buck” by overusing the sympathy card for Dutt’s character played by Ranbir Kapoor.

The veteran crime reporter, who has covered the Mumbai underworld for over four decades, trashed the biopic without even watching it. And he explains why he chose not to watch the film.

Here are the excerpts from his Facebook post

* During the last two days, I have received hundreds of messages and requests to react on the film SANJU. First of all, let me confess that I am not a film buff. The last time I went to watch a movie was in 1997.

* It is a waste of time to discuss merits or dismerits of films like SANJU or it’s protagonist Sanjay Dutt.

* Hirani and his ilk are out there to make a quick buck. That is their business and they have every right to do it.

* They are there to compose fiction and not portraying facts. Fiction is soft. Facts are hard. One is very easy to manufacture the other is difficult to gather.

* The so-called bio pics are tailored to suite the man or the woman they are based on. They are not to inspire the audiences but are there to create a smokescreen to blur their minds.

* The use or misuse of drugs, sleeping with women, branding media as an addictive potion, finding faults with system or society, willingly and knowingly Indulge in criminal activity, showing no remorse for your past actions, playing the sympathy card and crying victim, if that is what SANJU is about, I do not regret my decision of staying away from cinema halls.

How Parmar Broke The Story

In 2007, Parmar revealed how he came to know that Sanjay Dutt was in possession of illegal weapons supplied by the underworld.

On 12 April 1993, one month after the blasts, Parmar was on his usual visit to the Mahim police station, which was the nerve centre of the investigations. At the station, he was tipped off about the big news by a senior IPS officer, who said, “Aapke MP ke bete ka naam aa raha hai (Your MP’s son’s name is coming in the investigation)”.

“It did not take me long to figure out that the MP being referred to was Sunil Dutt. However, I could not confirm it since all the senior officers, including the then commissioner of police Amarjeet Singh Samra, were tight-lipped,” said Parmar in an interview to PTI.

Parmar then called another IPS officer at the Mahim station and shot in the dark,“Suna hai aapne kisi MP ke bete ko uthaya hai (I have heard that you have picked up an MP’s son)”.

“No, we have not, as he is shooting abroad,” the officer replied.  It had to be Sanjay Dutt, and that’s how Parmar got his big breaking story.