India

Sanjay Dutt: India Bollywood actor freed on 14-day parole

File photo of Sanjay Dutt
Image caption Dutt is hugely popular for his role as a lovable gangster in the Munnabhai movies

Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been released from a prison in India for medical reasons.

The actor was granted a 14-day parole by Pune's Yerwada prison to seek treatment for a leg ailment.

Dutt was sentenced for firearms offences linked to 1993 Mumbai blasts which killed 257 people. He has served 22 months of his five-year term.

The actor was convicted for illegally possessing a rifle and a pistol which he bought from the bombers.

Dutt was convicted in 2006 of buying arms from the bombers but cleared of conspiracy. The attacks left 713 others injured.

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 lovable gangster in the Munnabhai movies. He has also dabbled in politics.

In 2006, a special anti-terror court convicted 100 people over 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 offences, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons.

In March 2013, India's Supreme Court upheld his conviction, but reduced his sentence from six to five years.

More on this story