Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt walks out a free man from Pune’s Yerwada Jail this morning. He was convicted in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, where he completed his remaining 42-month sentence. He walks out of jail for the last time. And along with wife Manyata and a few close friends from the film fraternity, his ‘Mumbai Bhai’ franchise director Raj Kumar Hirani will be waiting for him outside.
Sanjay was released from Pune’s Yerwada jail at 8:37am.
After walking out of the jail, Dutt bowed down, touched the soil and turned towards the prison gate and saluted. Dutt’s wife Manyata, Bollywood director Raj Kumar Hirani received him outside the prison. “There is no easy walk to freedom, my friends. I am here because of the support of my family and friends,” said Dutt after coming out of prison.
A few weeks ago, Mirror had learnt that the beleaguered actor had wanted to get back to work immediately upon his release. This shoot was planned keeping his expressed desire in mind.
The actor will take a chartered flight to Mumbai from Pune’s Lohegaon airport around 10:30 AM. He is likely to visit Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, and then proceed to seek blessing at his mother’s grave at Marine Lines.
Earlier, a group of people was detained for protesting outside the prison against Dutt’s early release. An activist has also filed a PIL against the actor’s early release, alleging special treatment. The PIL is likely to be heard on Thursday itself.
Pradeep Bhalekar, a Mumbai social activist, filed the petition in Bombay High Court, seeking its intervention in cancelling the jail authorities’ “wrong and illegal” decision to grant the actor a remission on his sentence.
“He was an accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that left over 200 people dead. He was convicted by the Supreme Court for five years. According to norms, he did not even have to serve the full term because he had already served 18 months as an undertrial. And now he gets this eight-month remission. Is this right?” Bhalekar said.
“Thousands of undertrials and common convicts of petty offences rot in jail for years though their sentences might have got over. And this man gets preferential treatment because he is a celebrity. I have filed the PIL to seek the court’s view on the matter,” he added.
1993 Mumbai blasts
The actor Sanjay Dutt was arrested in April 1993 and later convicted for illegal possession of an automatic assault rifle, a part of cache of arms and ammunition that landed ahead of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 people were killed.
In 2013, Dutt was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. He had already served 18 months behind the bars after being jailed in 1996, and so was ordered to serve the remaining 42 months. Dutt’s prison sentence has been mired in controversies due to the repeated paroled and furloughs he obtained.