Fifty-three-year-old Sanjay Dutt, who has been held guilty for possessing firearms illegally, is no stranger to Yerawada jail. Dutt, who will now spend 42 months of his life here, had been lodged in the same prison twice in 2007.
Meeran Borwankar, the additional director general of police and head of Maharashtra prison department, told MiD DAY that the actor (convict number 16656) will be treated like any other convict. “However, we’ll abide by court orders and will provide him facilities like home-cooked food, use of toiletries, and the mosquito repellant ointment for the next one month,” she said.
Meanwhile, sources say jail employees have been asked not to get too excited with Dutt’s presence in their midst. They have been warned not to shake hands with the actor, as some of the staffers were suspended for doing so the last time he was lodged here.
Like in 2007, when Dutt was brought to the Yerawada jail for the first time, a sea of humanity had gathered outside the prison to catch a glimpse of the superstar. Even TV channel crew followed the van carrying Dutt throughout the Expressway till it reached the city. “To avoid this, we decided to keep the transfer from Arthur Road jail an utmost secret. Except for some senior jail officials, nobody was aware about the transfer till morning,” Borwankar said.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Yerawada Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai said he received Dutt and another convict around 6.30 am. He, however, refused to comment about which cell he has been lodged in citing security reasons.
According to a highly placed source, around 8.30 am, Dutt was given ‘kanda poha’ and a cup of tea as breakfast. As the order to give him home food was only valid for Arthur Road jail, he was served lunch that was prepared by jail inmates at11.30 am.
“For home-cooked food, the jail authorities will have to take fresh orders from the local court,” he said. He added Dutt has been kept in a high-security cell near Gandhi Yard, where two police inspectors, two API level officers, and seven to eight personnel have been deployed for his security. Besides, he will not be allowed to mix with the inmates following security reasons.