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Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt to return to prison

  • Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt said on Thursday he is to return to prison for his conviction over the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

    Dutt has been on bail since 2007 when he appealed against his original sentence of six years.

    Last week, the Supreme Court reduced it to five years.

    Speaking to reporters, an emotional Dutt said he would "abide by the court's decision" and not seek a pardon.

    Dutt was convicted in 2006 of buying weapons from bombers who attacked Mumbai. He spent 20 months in prison.

    A special anti-terror court convicted a total of 100 people over the blasts; 12 were given the death penalty and 20 others were jailed for life.

    The serial bombings left 257 people dead and wounded 713 others.

    As one of the most high profile of the convicts, Dutt was originally charged with five offences, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons.

    He was found guilty of illegally possessing a rifle and a pistol but cleared of conspiracy.

    The son of a Hindu father and Muslim mother, Dutt claimed the weapons were required to protect his family during the Hindu-Muslim rioting of 1993, which was triggered by the destruction of the Babri mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya.

    The Mumbai blasts were allegedly carried out by the city's Muslim-dominated underworld in retaliation for the riots, which killed 2,000 people.

    Underworld leader Dawood Ibrahim is believed to have masterminded the plot and remains on India’s most wanted list.

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