Sanjay Dutt Walks Out Of Pune's Yerwada Jail With A Salute

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Sanjay Dutt was found guilty of illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a pistol in 2007 (File photo)

Pune:  Actor Sanjay Dutt, imprisoned in an arms case related to the 1993 Mumbai blasts, was released from Pune's Yerwada Jail this morning. He kissed the ground, saluted the prison and then hefted a large bag on his shoulder to walk away to freedom.
Here are the latest developments:
  1. "There is no easy walk to freedom, my friends," the 56-year-old actor, accompanied by wife Maanayata Dutt, said as he tried to make his way through hordes of media personnel at the Pune airport.
  2. The actor, dressed in a dark blue shirt and jeans, walked out of the jail premises around 8:45 am amid tight security and was driven away in a white SUV to the airport.
  3. After reaching Mumbai, Mr Dutt headed straight to the famous Siddhivinayak temple to offer prayers. He then went to his mother Nargis Dutt's grave in Marine Lines before heading to his Pali Hill home.
  4. Posters welcoming him have been put up outside the home of the actor, the star of films like Khalnayak and the blockbuster Munnabhai series.
  5. Sanjay Dutt, who spent 42 months in Yerawada jail, was released a little over three months ahead of time - the reprieve was granted on grounds of good behaviour.
  6. On Monday, the Bombay High Court will hear a petition challenging Mr Dutt's early release. It also alleges that the actor got preferential treatment while he was in jail.
  7. The actor's frequent breaks from jail had earlier been criticised as evidence of VIP treatment. Between May 2013 and 2014, Mr Dutt spent over 118 days out of prison.
  8. In 2007, Sanjay Dutt was found guilty of illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a pistol acquired from those involved in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai that killed 257 people and injured hundreds. The actor served 18 months but then was out on bail, fighting the conviction until a court in March 2013 ordered him back to jail in Pune.
  9. Mr Dutt, who was cleared of conspiracy charges in connection with the blasts, had claimed that he had acquired the weapons to protect himself and his family during the riots that erupted after the blasts.
  10. Last year, a petition for his pardon, filed by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, was turned down. Sources said Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao had rejected it on the recommendation of the state home department, which said it would set a bad precedent as the actor's conviction was confirmed by the Supreme Court.




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