San­jay Dutt ex­its jail to cheers, crit­i­cism

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Bol­ly­wood ac­tor San­jay Dutt was re­leased from prison on Thurs­day af­ter serv­ing a five-year sen­tence for pos­sess­ing il­le­gal weapons. Thou­sands of cheer­ing fans lined up to greet him but crit­ics al­leged po­lice ac­corded the star pref­er­en­tial treat­ment. The 56-year-old ac­tor walked out of Pune’s Yer­awada Jail around 8.30am, touched the ground, saluted the na­tional flag and met his wife Many­ata, chil­dren and close friends.

“For the 23 years I wanted to be a free man, I wanted to taste free­dom. But the feel­ing of be­ing is still not sink­ing in. To be free is the most amaz­ing feel­ing,” he said. Dutt flew to Mum­bai in a char­tered air­craft, went to the Sid­dhiv­inayak Tem­ple and then to his mother’s grave at Bada Kabras­tan be­fore reach­ing his Ban­dra home where thou­sands of fans danced to the beat of dhols and threw gar­lands around his neck. “I miss my father to­day. He would have been the hap­pi­est per­son as his only mo­tive was to see his son free to­day. Dad, I am free to­day and I love you,” said Dutt, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans.

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