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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dal-roti-subzi for dinner, toilet kit Dutt's only luxury

Mumbai: It was a frugal dinner of brinjal subzi, dal, four rotis and some rice for Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt on Wednesday after he spent his first night at Barrack No 1 of the Arthur Road Jail.

Dutt, who was brought to the jail on Tuesday evening after being sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, spent his first night in jail like any other inmate — minus fan, bedsheet or pillow.

However, he was provided a blanket for the night, which all prisoners are entitled to, a jail official said.

Lodged in a 90-sq-ft cell in Barrack No.1, Dutt had to wear the regulation prickly jail-provided white shirt and pyjamas. Though he was not permitted to bring in extra clothes like jeans, he was allowed some luxury — he could get in his full toilet kit.

The kit comprised of the actor's favourite London's premium brand Molten Brown toiletries like mouthwash, hair-wash and soap, a jail source revealed. But Dutt, 48, has to share his toilet and bathroom with eight other prisoners.

A chain smoker, Dutt is believed to have been allowed to take in a 10-pack of his favoured brand — Marlboro Lights. He has also carried combs, toothbrush and towels from Mumbai's ITC Grand Central.

"On Wednesday morning, Dutt had a frugal breakfast of sweetened tea and biscuits and a couple of slices of bread at 0730 hours. The regular jail lunch was at 1030 hours and it comprised a subzi, dal, four rotis and some rice. Dutt was served tea at 1500 hours and dinner immediately afterwards at 1530 hours, identical to what he had for lunch," a jail official said.

The actor was initially lodged in Barrack No 10. But he was shifted to No 1 for security reasons in a late-night development on Tuesday. "Sanjay Dutt was shifted to Barrack No 1 from No 10 late Tuesday night, taking his security into account," sources at the Arthur Road Jail said on Wednesday.

Barrack No 10 has high-profile inmates like extradited mobster Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa, both of whom are being tried separately in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.

Incidentally, Dutt had asked the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Preventive) Act (TADA) judge Pramod Kode not to put him and his two associates, Yusuf Nulwala and Kersi Adajenia, in the infamous 'andda' (egg-shaped) cell of Arthur Road prison.

"The actor spent an uneventful night, while his two friends, Nulwala and Adajenia, were shifted to Barrack No 8," the jail source said.

Barrack No 1 has one big cell with around 30 prisoners and three small cells. Sanjay had one of the small cells. Praveen Mahajan, who is under trial for allegedly killing his brother and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan, is in another. The third houses members of the fugitive mobster Chhota Shakeel's gang — Salim Fruit and Shahid Sheikh.

The Munnabhai star did not taste the jail dinner on Tuesday as the scheduled dinner time was over much before he was brought in. The cell in which Dutt is lodged is near the main door of the jail and is popularly known as the Buddha Barrack, as all aged undertrials were lodged there earlier.

The cell, which till recently housed a Mumbai civic official accused in a real estate deal connected with India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, was given a fresh coat of paint on Monday.

It has a toilet-cum-bathroom facility outside and a bucket of water is provided twice a day at 0400 hours and 1530 hours, jail sources said.

Dutt is to be in Barrack No 1 till Thursday, after which the authorities will decide where to shift him. Arthur Road Jail is meant for undertrials and has no facilities for rigorous imprisonment, like carpentry or weaving work that convicts have to undertake.

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