Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt Released from Jail

Sanjay Dutt
Vinod Chopra Productions

The actor was convicted in an illegal arms possession case, which linked him to the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was released from jail on Thursday having served his sentence for illegal possession of firearms during the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

Arrested in 1993, the 56-year-old actor served 18 months in jail before being bailed in 1995. In 2007, Dutt was sentenced to six years in prison, but remained on bail until 2013 when India's Supreme Court upheld his conviction, though it reduced the sentence to five years.

Dutt's release was widely covered with news channels offering live feeds showing the actor being received by his family and numerous fans as he made his way to Pune airport to fly back home to Mumbai. Before leaving, he briefly addressed the media and was widely quoted stating, “I am here because of [the fans'] support. And there is no easy road to freedom, my friends.”

The Mumbai blasts killed 257 people and injured over 700 as a series of bombs detonated across the city's various busy locations, including the Stock Exchange. Dutt was convicted by the specially set-up TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Preventation Act) court after he was arrested in April 1993 for illegal possession of a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle. Dutt claimed he had procured the arms to protect his family during the 1993 Mumbai riots between Hindus and Muslims.

The son of the late legendary actor couple Sunil Dutt, a Hindu, and Nargis, a Muslim, Sanjay is one of Bollywood's popular stars with a career that launched in the early eighties. His hit films include 2003's Munnabhai M.B.B.S and its 2006 sequel, both directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. His last film appearance before his jail term was in 2014's blockbuster hit PK (also directed by Hirani and produced by Chopra).