Sanjay Dutt withdraws plea to surrender in Pune jail

Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) In a sudden development, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt Wednesday withdrew his application seeking to surrender in Pune's Yerawada Jail as he apprehended threats to his life in Mumbai.

Sanjay, convicted for his role in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts will now surrender before a Mumbai TADA Special Court by 4 p.m. Thursday.

The reason behind the abrupt move is not yet known.

Apprehending death threats from some fundamentalist groups, which he did not identify, if he gave himself up in Mumbai, Sanjay Tuesday moved an application before TADA Special Judge G.A. Sanap seeking permission to surrender in Pune's high security Yerwada Jail.

Special Judge Sanap had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file its reply in the matter and had posted the matter for hearing Wednesday.

"The applicant is facing threats to life from fundamentalist groups and those with vested interests," Sanjay's application stated.

He further claimed that he wanted to avoid a chase by the media like in the past. "The media vehicles chased the applicant's vehicles for 120 kms in the past."

However, in an anti-climax, Wednesday Sanjay suddenly withdrew the application.

"I am not aware of the reasons why he has withdrawn the application," Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

Sanjay is due to surrender Thursday (May 16) after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction under the Arms Act, though it reduced the six-year jail term to five.

He filed the application Tuesday after the Supreme Court declined additional time to the actor to serve the remainder three-and-half years' sentence awarded in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

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