`Suffocated' Dutt shifted from anda to new cell


Mumbai: Sanjay Dutt on Friday was shifted from the anda cell to another cell upon an oral application by his lawyer to the Tada court.
Dutt was feeling “suffocated” in the cell, which is usually used to hold terrorists and other dreaded criminals. Officials are, however, still to decide where to lodge the actor from amongst five prisons in the state. Dutt is temporarily lodged at the Arthur Road prison.
Dutt’s lawyer Rizwan Merchant, who appeared before the Tada court on Friday, argued that Dutt was not a “terrorist” and did not deserve to be lodged in the anda cell.
“The absence of ventilation is suffocating him. Even the SC has recognised that he is not a terrorist and was convicted only under the Arms Act,” Merchant argued before the court. Judge G.A. Sanap accepted the request but directed Merchant to later file a written application.
Dutt, after surrendering before the court on Thursday was taken to the Arthur Road Jail between 9.30 and 10 pm where he spent the night. Depending on the threat perception to his life in each of the prisons, officials have to choose between Yerawada in Pune, Nashik, Taloja, Kolhapur and Nagpur.
Dutt now has to serve his remaining sentence of 42 months after being convicted under the Arms Act. “He is still in Arthur Road and hasn’t been moved yet. It looks like he might be here for the next seven to eight days until we decide which jail to shift him to,” said a police source. Additional director-general of police (prisons) Meeran Borwankar said, “The prison to lodge Sanjay Dutt in will be selected in due course of time.” Meanwhile, Dutt, read religious books that he had brought along with him.
He was allowed to carry the Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Ramayana by the court. The court also permitted him home cooked food, medicines, a pillow, a mattress and toiletries. Jail sources said he performed some “stretching exercises” on Friday and read the books but mostly kept to himself.

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