With dhol, dance and garlands, Sanjay Dutt received a hero's welcome when he arrived at his residence in Mumbai on Thursday after completing his prison-term for illegal possession of arms in the March 1993 Mumbai blasts.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt walked out of Pune's Yerawada Jail on Thursday morning at 8:35 am, after serving 42 months of his five-year prison term at Yerawada Central Prison following his conviction in a case related to the 1993 serial blasts.
Sanjay Dutt with his wife Manyata and kids at a press conference at his building Imperial Heights in Bandra Pic/Atul Kamble
Whether it was the aiport in Pune or in Mumbai, fans turned up everywhere to cheer for the actor, who is now a free man ahaving served his sentence.
His well-wishers also reached the Siddhivinayak temple, where devotees gave him a rousing welcome.
A horde of the actor's admirers also gathered outside the flower-decorated Imperial Heights building in Pali Hill here, adding to the celebratory spirit of the surroundings, which had myriad posters featuring Bollywood's beloved 'Munna Bhai'.
Sanjay Dutt in the company of his family. Pic/Atul Kamble
Fans danced to the beats of dhol outside the gate of the house of the actor, who was dressed in a blue shirt and a pair of denims. The 56-year-old made his way to his house through a sea of fans who raised their smartphones up in the air to capture the moment. Even as the "Khalnayak" star walked amid security, the fans showered their love by decorating him with garlands.
Sanjay, who was very close to his parents, also sought their blessings. Before heading home, he visited his mother's (Nargis) grave in Marine Lines here, and later at his residential building, he stood with folded hands in front of a portrait of his father, Sunil Dutt.
Watch the video of Sanjay Dutt's release from Yerawada Jail
Dutt (convict number 16656) was serving his sentence housed in a solitary cell at Yerawada near the hanging yard since May 22, 2013.
Present to receive him outside the jail amidst tight security were his wife Maanayata and their children, sister and former MP Priya Dutt and her family, film director Rajkumar Hirani, thousands of fans, a huge media contingent from across India and abroad.
256 days were waived off from the 56-year-old actor's sentence due to good behaviour in prison.
Fans, policemen and members of the media gathered outside Pune's Yerawada's Central Prison as Sanjay Dutt walks out. Pic/Chaitraly Deshmukh
Sanjay Dutt boarded a chartered plane at Pune International Airport with his family. The actor is believed to have said, "Zulm Karke kisi ka bhala nahi hoga (No one benefits after committing crimes)", before boarding.
A large team of police officers were stationed outside Yerawada Jail before Sanjay Dutt's release
The actor landed in Mumbai airport around 11:15 am, from where he proceeded to the famed Siddhivinayak Temple to offer his prayers. The next stop was the Baba Kabrastan where the grave of his mother, the late actress Nargis Dutt, is located. He prayed there too.
Dutt sported a dark blue shirt and jeans, minus his traditional sunglasses, salt-pepper sparse hair and a stubbly beard, appearing physically weary but mentally relaxed.
Near his Bandra home, there was a contingent of drummers who played a deafening welcome tune for Dutt.
Ther were also large posters and huge banners welcoming the actor, and a special poster welcoming 'Papa' and 'Uncle' and 'Bro' from his wife and kids, sisters, nieces and nephews.
There were celebrations of different types organised by his fans and well-wishers.
These include a free meal of 'Chicken Sanju Baba' at south Mumbai's Noor Mohammadi Hotel, 50 percent discount on all meals and free servings of a specially created item 'Bhai-Baba Chal Mere Bhai' at the Bhaijaanz Restaurant in Bandra, while an autorickshaw driver Sandeep Bachche offered free rides in Bandra to mark his freedom.
Of the five-year sentence, Sanjay Dutt has served more than 50 months in two installments, excluding the parole and furlough he was granted at various times on different grounds.
He spent 18 months in jail as an undertrial before he was granted bail and later, following a Supreme Court order in May 2013, he was sent to the Yerawada Jail to serve the remaining 42 months of his five-year sentence.
(With inputs from IANS)