Convicted Bollywood star surrenders to court

Actor Sanjay Dutt, charged with links to 1993 attack on Indian city of Mumbai, surrenders to serve five year jail term.

    Convicted Bollywood star surrenders to court
    Sanjay Dutt served 18 months in jail before being released on bail in 2007 pending an appeal [AP]

    Indian actor Sanjay Dutt has surrendered before a Mumbai court and will begin serving time for a weapons conviction linked to a deadly terror attack in the city in 1993.

    The Bollywood actor surrendered on Thursday to a five-year jail sentence handed by India's Supreme Court in March for illegal possession of weapons supplied by mafia bosses linked to the terror attack, which killed 257 people in the city 20 years ago.

    The 53-year-old actor served 18 months in jail in 2007, before being released on bail pending an appeal, so he is to spend the next three and half years behind bars.

    The Supreme Court reduced his prison sentence to five years from the six-year term initially handed down.

    Earlier this month, the court rejected Dutt's plea seeking review of its judgement on his conviction and jail term.

    According to industry estimates, Dutt is currently involved in projects worth at least $20 million.

    Denying knowledge

    Dutt was convicted for possession of an automatic rifle and a pistol that were supplied to him by men subsequently convicted in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

    Dutt has said he knew nothing about the bombing plot and that he asked for the guns to protect his family - his mother was Muslim and his father Hindu - after receiving threats during the religious riots that preceded the bombings.

    The 1993 bombings were seen at the time as the world's worst terrorist attack, with 13 bombs exploding over a two-hour period across Mumbai.

    Powerful explosives were packed into cars and scooters parked near India's main Bombay Stock Exchange and other sites in the city. In addition to those killed, more than 720 people were injured in the attack.

    Despite the long-drawn trial over the bombings, Dutt's Bollywood career has flourished over the past 20 years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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