Bhima Koregaon riots: Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote granted bail

Milind Ekbote, president, Samastha Hindutva Aghadi was granted bail on a bond of Rs 25,000 by additional sessions judge SM Menjoge on Thursday in a case registered at Shikrapur police station. The court also warned Ekbote to not tamper with prosecution evidence or threaten the prosecution witnesses.

pune Updated: Apr 20, 2018 16:27 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,Bhima Koregaon riots,Hindutva leader
The bail application was filed by Ekbote under Sections 143,145,146,147,148,149,353,332,307,435,436,426 and 160 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under Section 3 and 4 of Protection of Public Property Act, 1988, at the Shikrapur Police Station.(HT FILE PHOTO)

Milind Ekbote, president, Samastha Hindutva Aghadi, accused of instigating violence on January 1 at Bhima Koregaon, was granted bail on a bond of Rs 25,000 by additional sessions judge SM Menjoge on Thursday in a case registered at Shikrapur police station. The court also warned Ekbote to not tamper with prosecution evidence or threaten the prosecution witnesses.

Earlier, the magistrates’ court had remanded Ekbote to four days in police custody following his arrest in connection with yet another offence related to the Bhima Koregaon violence. The arrest came immediately after he was granted bail in another case registered at the Shikrapur police station.

Ekbote is the prime suspect in the Bhima Koregaon case where Dalit organisations have accused him of instigating the violence. He is facing charges of inciting violence, attempt to murder and atrocities against Dalits. The Bhima Koregaon violence, which erupted on Jan 1, left one dead and many others injured. The incident saw stoned being pelted, vehicles torched, and public property being destroyed by angry mobs.

The bail application was filed by Ekbote under Sections 143,145,146,147,148,149,353,332,307,435,436,426 and 160 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under Section 3 and 4 of Protection of Public Property Act, 1988, at the Shikrapur Police Station. Earlier, the Bombay high court had rejected Ekbote’s anticipatory bail application. He had approached the high court for an anticipatory bail after the Pune sessions court had rejected his bail application in March.

39-year-old Anita Sawale, a resident of Kalewadi, had filed an FIR at Pimpri police station on January 2. Sawale had registered a zero FIR against Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. They were charged with offences under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly guilty), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 435 (mischief by destroying or moving a landmark fixed by public authority mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), of the IPC and relevant sections of the Arms Act and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. Later, the FIR was transferred to Pune rural police jurisdiction for further investigation.

Ekbote has been arrested by the Pune police on three separate occasions on charges of inciting violence and Sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Dalit activists and organisations have accused Ekbote and Manohar, alias Sambhaji Bhide, as the main conspirators behind the Bhima Koregaon violence.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 16:26 IST