MUMBAI: Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, who had surrendered last week on 16 May at Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison, has now been quietly shifted out of his cell, into Pune’s Yerawada jail in the dead of the night.
This will not be Dutt’s first stint in Yerawada though. Previously, when Dutt had served time in connection with the 1993 Bombay blasts case, he was housed as an undertrial in Yerawada jail. This time, however, he will be kept there as a full-fledged convict, donning a full-time jail uniform. He will be allocated a ‘qaidi’ number or prisoner number soon, say authorities, with a ‘C’ prefixed to the number indicating his convict status.
Dutt was convicted by the SC in connection with the serial blasts in 1993, which rocked Bombay. Dutt was found illegally possessing arms, an offence for which he has already served 18 months, in the 1990’s.
Sources say the actor will be lodged in the high-security ‘Anda’ cell of Pune’s Yerawada jail. The egg-shaped cell is partially sunk into the ground, and is considered one of the most secure cells in the entire prison facility.
The incarcerated actor had last week complained of suffocation in the egg-shaped cell in Arthur Road, and had requested to be moved to another cell. Dutt’s lawyers had argued that such a cell was meant for high-security prisoners and terrorists, and that Dutt should be allowed a different cell as he was “suffocated” and was “no terrorist”.
The court, however, did not allow a transfer.
In Pune, Dutt will be allowed to get home-made food and the court has sanctioned his appeal to be provided with a thin mattress and pilliow, and medication. However, his request for electronic cigarettes was denied.
While in jail, Dutt will be expected to do labour work like other prisoners, and will be entitled to a monthly pay of Rs 1500 from his family, so that he can purchase essential items in the jail canteen.
He will be allowed to meet with his family once a month, for just 20 minutes.