BOLLYWOOD STAR FREED OVER BOMBING CASE.

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MUMBAI (Reuters) – Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, jailed for six years for taking guns from gangsters involved in the country’s worst bombings, was released on bail from a prison in western India on Thursday.

Dutt, sporting a beard and closely cropped hair, walked free following more than a month in jail, and after being granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday while his lawyers challenge the conviction.

Wearing a white crumpled shirt and a streak of vermilion on his forehead, Dutt waved to the crowds outside the jail in the city of Pune before quickly getting into a waiting car. He carried a yellow bag containing his belongings.

Television stations said he was to be flown to his hometown of Mumbai in a private aircraft.

The actor was convicted for taking an AK-56 rifle and a pistol from gangsters linked to the bombings in which 257 people were killed in the financial capital, Mumbai, in 1993.

Dutt had challenged the conviction last month and sought bail until the petition was heard.

He is expected to be out of jail for a while as the appeal could take months to be heard and ruled on by a judicial system burdened by millions of cases.

His lawyers say it could take at least two years to be taken up by the Supreme Court.

Dutt, 48, was among 100 people found guilty by a special Mumbai court, which sentenced 12 of them to death and 20 to life in prison while handing varied jail terms and fines to the rest.

Dutt’s appeal says his conviction by a special anti-terrorism court was based on a confession he later retracted. It said the confession was obtained under duress.

He has said he acquired the weapons to protect his family during communal riots in 1993.

(Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)


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