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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Paid labour awaits jailed Sanjay Dutt

One of the highest paid in the film industry, the actor will have to choose between cooking, carpentry, farming or weaving for just a dollar a day.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2007 18:13 IST

Actor Sanjay Dutt, who has swapped the glamour of the silver screen for the harsh reality of prison, will soon have to choose between cooking, carpentry, farming or weaving for just a dollar a day.

Dutt was jailed for six years "rigorous imprisonment" on Tuesday for acquiring guns from gangsters linked to India's worst bombings in Mumbai in 1993 - less 16 months he served while awaiting trial.

"Rigorous imprisonment means doing labour like cooking, carpentry, farming, working on handlooms, etcetera," a jail official said, on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

"Sanjay Dutt will be treated like any other convict and he will have to work as well."

Dutt has been temporarily lodged in a jail in his hometown Mumbai meant for prisoners under trial, where he is reportedly sharing a cell with two other men, but officials said he would probably be moved to a more permanent home soon.

Indian jails are overcrowded, with some holding almost five times their capacity. The one Dutt is lodged in now officially has room for 800 people, but houses about 3,000.

Jail sources said that Dutt would be given the prison uniform - a striped white shirt with white pyjamas and a white cap once it is decided where he will serve his term.

The actor, one of the highest paid in Bollywood, will have to eat the prison meals that prisoners themselves cook. Breakfast would typically be puffed rice, or vegetable curry with a loaf of bread, while lunch and dinner is curry, lentils and Indian bread.

There is chicken or eggs on weekends.

A jail cell, which usually houses three convicts, has a bulb but no fans. The lights are switched off after 8 p.m. Each convict is given two sheets. The living conditions are far from decent with stinking common toilets and bathrooms.

In India, where political clout and money often bend the rules, many celebrities and politicians have received special treatment while under trial, some being lodged in guest houses with air-conditioners and allowed to eat home-cooked food.

In some of the lawless states in eastern and northern India, convicts with the right connections receive special treatment and access to a television, refrigerators and mobile phones.

The judge who sentenced Dutt told prison officials to take all necessary steps to ensure the star's security, but jail officials stress Dutt will not get star treatment.

Dutt also requested the court that he be put in the same barracks as a friend who helped him destroy the automatic rifle which was to land them in trouble.

On Tuesday, his relatives met him and handed him some toiletries, medicines and clothes.

First Published: Aug 01, 2007 17:47 IST

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