Sanjay Dutt: India actor set to return to jail

Sanjay Dutt: India actor set to return to jail

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Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt is set to return to jail to serve his sentence for firearms offences linked to the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

The actor will present himself at a court in the western Indian city on Thursday, his lawyer said.Dutt has already served about 18 months of a five-year jail term for illegally possessing a rifle and a pistol.He had sought to delay his return to prison as he wanted to finish work on a number of films, but the court refused.Dutt was convicted in 2006 of buying arms from bombers who attacked targets in Mumbai. The bombings killed 257 people and wounded 713 others.

He was cleared of conspiracy.The son of a Hindu father and a Muslim mother, Dutt said the weapons were necessary in order to defend his family during the Hindu-Muslim rioting of 1993 which followed the destruction by Hindu zealots of the Babri mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya. Dutt, one of Bollywood’s most bankable stars, is hugely popular for his role as a loveable gangster in the Munna bhai movies. He has also dabbled in politics.

In 2006, a special anti-terror court convicted 100 people for the blasts. Twelve were given the death penalty and 20 others sentenced to life imprisonment.Dutt, the most high-profile among the convicts, was originally charged with five offenses, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons.In March 2013, India’s Supreme Court upheld his conviction, but reduced his sentence from the earlier six years to five years. – BBC

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