Sanjay Dutt returns to jail

Pune, Oct 30 (IANS) Convicted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Yerawada Central Jail here Wednesday after his four-week long medical parole ended, officials said.

Dutt, 54, was released Oct 1 on a fortnight's medical parole from the high-security prison where he is serving the remainder of his 42-month sentence.

Later, he sought and was granted another fortnight's extension which ended Tuesday, an official said.

Dutt was sentenced to five years' jail for illegal possession of firearms from one of the consignments that landed ahead of the March 12, 1993, serial blasts in Mumbai.

Since May 16 this year, he is serving the remaining 42 months of his term at the jail, making paper bags which are sold outside through NGOs.

"I thank you for all the support. I wish everyone a Happy Diwali," Dutt told waiting media persons shortly before his departure from his home in Mumbai Wednesday morning.

He was accompanied till the prison gates by his wife Manyata and some close family friends.

This year, Dutt will spend the Diwali in the jail with other inmates.

Since his release on parole, there was been widespread speculation that Dutt may be granted a remission of sentence or a pardon.

However, last Friday Home Minister R.R. Patil scotched all rumours and asserted that he has not received any communication from the centre to the effect.

Besides, Patil pointed out that even the actor's family members, who include his sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt, have not made any such request.

The state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has already expressed its strong opposition to any proposal to grant a pardon to the actor as, it said, it could send wrong signals in society and encourage other convicts to seek pardon.

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