The Shiv Sena on Monday said actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been sentenced to five-year imprisonment in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, should not be shown any leniency.

“He should be punished... there should be no rethink or reduction in his five-year sentence,” said Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe during a debate on law and order in the Upper House.

The Sena’s current stance on Mr. Dutt is a departure from its previous position — Mr. Dutt’s father, the late Congress MP and actor Sunil Dutt, had approached Sena supremo Bal Thackeray two decades ago for help and Mr. Thackeray stretched himself to bring relief to the beleaguered Mr. Sanjay Dutt, after he was arrested and jailed under the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) for the illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a 9 mm pistol.

Granting leniency to a Bollywood star would imply providing political cover to Mumbai blast convicts, said Dr. Gorhe, alluding to cries of clemency emanating from political parties, persons and the film fraternity.

“Society would get a wrong message in the event Mr. Dutt is pardoned,” she said.