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Crowds jostle as Sanjay Dutt leaves home for jail

Mumbai, May 16, 2013 (IANS) 15:31 IST
Activists of right-winged Hindu Rashtra Sena shout slogans during a protest outside the residence of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, seen in banner, in Mumbai Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The activists demanded Dutt be hanged for the 1993 Mumbai terror attack that killed 257 people. Dutt has been sentenced to five years in prison for illegal possession of weapons supplied by Muslim mafia bosses linked to the attack. AP Photo
With scores of photographers jostling and crowds craning to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood star, a visibly upset Sanjay Dutt left his Bandra home Thursday to return to prison to complete his sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

A lot of big names from the film fraternity were there to show their support and solidarity towards 'Munnabhai', who has been convicted under the Arms Act for illegal possession of arms.

There were early morning prayers and celebrity visitors at Sanjay's Bandra home, outside which stood hordes of fans, as the 53-year-old prepared to return to the prison in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

Dressed in a white kurta, with cropped hair and a tilak on his forehead, he waved at the media and fans before walking hand-in-hand with his wife Manyata towards his car.
Sanjay started the day with solemn prayers and a 'havan' conducted by a priest with his family members participating in the ceremonies, according to sources.

Since Wednesday night, Sanjay has been getting calls and visits from friends, colleagues and well wishers, sources said. Prominent among them were actors Salman Khan, Fardeen Khan and director David Dhawan with whom he has always shared a special rapport. Also there were Vashu Bhagnani, Rajkumar Hirani, Apoorva Lakhia, Raj Kundra, Bunty Walia, Bhushan Kumar and Sophie Choudry.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined Sanjay's plea for additional time to surrender to serve his remaining three-and-half years' sentence for his role in the case. The actor has already served 18 months in prison.

Sanjay will surrender before a special TADA court later Thursday after the apex court upheld his conviction, but reduced the six-year jail term to five.

According to Bollywood circles, Bollywood's 'Munnabhai' has resigned himself to serving the remaining tenure of his sentence and returning to jail without creating more controversies.

After completing the surrender formalities, he will be whisked off to the high-security Arthur Road Central Jail - which usually houses undertrials - in congested south-central Mumbai.

Finally, he will be shifted to another regular jail either in Pune, Nashik or Nagpur. Police officials were tight-lipped about the final destination.

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