Sanjay Dutt leaves jail with a smile, salutes the Tricolour

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt finally walked out a free man out of Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail where he served his 42 months sentence in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Dutt took a chartered plane from Pune and is expected to land at the Santacruz airport, Mumbai around 11 am.

The actor was dressed in a blue shirt and denims with a tika on his forehead and was carrying a small bag and a box in hand. His wife Manyata and twins Iqra and Sharan were present to receive him. His ‘Munnabhai M.B.B.S’ director Rajkumar Hirani also arrived to receive him outside the jail. He had also reportedly written to his sister Priya Dutt and brother-in-law Owen Roncon to come and receive him. He is a family man and wanted his family by his side when he comes out.

As Dutt came out of the jail gates, he bowed down and touched the grounds and saluted the National Flag fluttering atop the jail building. He waved at the awaiting media before entering the car to leave for the airport to take the chartered flight. He also looked back at the jail one last time. “There is no easy walk to freedom, my friends,” the actor told reporters at the Pune airport. ANI tweeted Dutt’s statement. 

After arriving in Mumbai, Dutt is scheduled to go straight to Siddhivinayak Temple to pay obeisance to Lord Ganesha. Thereafter he will head to Bada Kabristan where his mother late actress-social worker is buried. He will also offer a puja before his late father Sunil Dutt’s portrait placed at the foyer of his residence in Imperial Heights at Pali Hill. He is likely to address the media once his reaches home and share his joy of freedom and experiences during the sentence.

Dutt has been granted remission on account of good conduct and has been released days ahead of his full prison term. On the eve of his release, social activist Pradeep Bhalekar filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court against his early release and alleged that the 56-year-old actor was getting preferential treatment. However, Yerawada Jail Superintendent U T Pawar has refuted the allegations of special treatment to Dutt during his term in view of his celebrity status. "His remission was worked out in compliance with jail rules and he was treated like any other convict," Pawar was quoted by PTI.

Dutt was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) in April 1993, due to illegal possession of arms relating to the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. He spent 18 months in jail during the investigations as an undertrail and was granted bail in April 1995. In March 2013, the Supreme Court convicted Dutt in the case and sentenced him to five years imprisonment, following which her surrendered to serve the remaining 42 months of his sentence.