Parole for Dutt sparks row, probe ordered

Amid protests against the latest 30-day parole granted to actor Sanjay Dutt who is serving his five-year term in Pune's Yerawada Central Jail, Maharashtra's Home Minister R R Patil Saturday ordered a probe in the matter.

"The parole has been granted by the Divisional Commissioner. We are looking into the matter and have sought documents which formed the basis for allowing his release on parole," Patil told reporters.

In a little over a month, this is the second parole granted to Dutt, who is serving the remainder of his jail term for possessing illegal firearms meant to be used during the '93 Mumbai blasts.

Earlier, he had availed of a month-long leave of furlough on medical grounds and was back in jail on October 30.

This time, the 53-year-old actor has cited his wife Manyata's illness as the ground for parole, which was granted by Pune Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh.

However, newspapers on Saturday morning published photographs of Manyata purportedly attending the screening of a film as also a celebrity birthday party, raising questions on Dutt's claim.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties and NGOs in the state have raised the pitch on the issue, alleging that undue favours were being extended to Dutt. "The government should immediately cancel the parole and ask him to return to prison. Why should he get special treatment? He is serving jail term on a very serious charge," Gopinath Munde, deputy leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, said.

The BJP leader said his party would raise the matter in Parliament and in the state Assembly.

Earlier in the day, RPI members staged protests against the state government in Mumbai and Pune.

Manyata has tumour in liver, says doctor

Manyata's doctor, Dr Ajay Chaughule, has said a tumour had been detected in her liver. "She has been my patient for the last three years or so. She had heaviness in her chest and abdomen three weeks ago. We found a tumour in her liver. The big test to see if it is malignant needs to be done now. Right now, she is in severe pain but is moving around. Only further investigation will show what the course of treatment should be," he said.

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