For everyone, Sanjay Dutt's conviction seems to have sunk in. The fan following the actor drew outside the Arthur Road and Yerwada prison gates soon after he was sentenced in August was missing on Monday.
Friends and family preferred to keep a distance from the police vehicle that zipped past the eight o’clock city traffic. And when the convoy led by a police escort jeep and tailed by media vehicles reached Yerwada prison in Pune late in the night, the contrast with last time became stark.
Instead of fans, barricades greeted Dutt’s vehicle. And authorities also ensured that he did not get a chance to even wave a hand in acknowledgement to the few fans who might have been around, if any. Police authorities had put their foot down to ensure there was no commotion again outside the jail premises.
The controversy over the caning of fans outside the prison in the past, not to forget television cameras snaring constables shaking hands with Dutt, may have prompted authorities to put up the blue and yellow tin sheets curtailing a view of the entrance to the prison.
The 10-ft road running outside the prison wore a barren look. A few passersby questioned mediapersons: "Who is being put behind bars?" The name pronounced by way of an answer did not interest them.
Apart from the media, which was just doing a job, the only others anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse of Dutt during his around 170 km journey were the sentries at the toll gates of the Expressway linking the city and Pune.