Actor Sanjay Dutt takes up carpentry in jail

Updated on Aug 08, 2007 07:22 PM IST

The actor chooses carpentry over gardening, cooking, weaving, farming and metal-work, among other jobs.

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Reuters | By, Mumbai

Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has chosen carpentry as prison labour for which he will get paid about half-a-dollar a day, as he begins a six-year sentence for receiving guns from gangsters, officials said on Wednesday.

Dutt, 48, was sentenced last week for getting an AK-56 rifle and a pistol from gangsters linked to India's deadliest bombings, which killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993.

"As a normal procedure, he has been asked to choose some work and he chose carpentry," a jail official in the western city of Pune, where Dutt is lodged, said.

Dutt, one of Bollywood's highest-paid actors, reportedly earns upwards of $500,000 per film -- will be an apprentice in the jail's carpentry workshop.

He can hope to earn about a dollar a day as he gets better at the job and his earnings will be paid to him in lumpsum when he walks free.

Officials said furniture, cane work, carpets and furnishings made by prisoners usually end up in government offices.

The actor, who has challenged his conviction in the Supreme Court and appealed for bail, chose carpentry over gardening, cooking, weaving, farming and metal-work, among other jobs.

It could take several days for Dutt's bail petition to be taken up by the court, legal experts say.

Dutt, who spent 16 months in jail during the initial investigations into the bombings, is reported to be struggling with the harsh realities of prison life -- his cell has no fans and he shares a common toilet and bathroom.

Indian newspapers said Dutt felt uncomfortable in the coarse prison uniform -- a striped white shirt with white pyjamas and a white cap.

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    Krittivas Mukherjee was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of journalists that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. He no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

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