It’s a day to rejoice and celebrate for the family, friends and fans of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt as he was set free on Thursday morning from the Pune’s Yerwada jail after completing his punishment for the possession of arms during the 1993 Mumbai Blast. As soon as the actor was released from jail, the actor “kissed the ground and saluted the flag”. Filmmaker-friend Raju Hirani, and Dutt’s wife Maanayata and twins Shahraan and Iqra were present outside the jail to welcome the actor.
Post greeting his family and friends, Dutt straightaway drove to the airport and took a chartered plane to Mumbai and visited the Siddhivinayak temple. After seeking blessings in the temple, the actor went to his mother Nargis Dutt’s grave.
He then went to his home in Pali Hill where he was greeted by family members and friends from the film fraternity. While talking to the media outside his home, the 56-year-old said, “I waited for this day of azadi (freedom) for 23 years.”
He further said, “I am not a terrorist. I was in jail under the Arms Act. It is a request. Please don’t call me a 1993 Bombay blast convict.” For his good conduct in the jail, Dutt has been released three months before the completion of his sentence.
On the return of her brother, Priya Dutt preferred waiting for his brother at home. In a conversation with PTI, she excitedly said, “It’s a very emotional day for us. I wish my father was alive to see this day. It would have been the happiest day for him. I am yet to meet him (Sanjay Dutt). We are just waiting for him at home.”
“It’s been 23 years. He and we all have gone through many ups and downs. We have struggled a lot,” she later said.
The actor was convicted for the possession of AK-56 rifle which was among the arms used the 1993 Mumbai blast. Dutt had initially served 18 months in jail, before March 2013 when he was again convicted by a court. The actor was in jail for 42 months in five years of his sentence.