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Ink attack, slogan chanting mark high drama at Milind Ekbote’s appearance in Pune court; 3 held

Waghmare, suspect in ink attack case, has been booked previously for various crimes, including murder, possession of arms and forgery, at Shivajinagar and Bibwewadi police stations.

pune Updated: Mar 19, 2018 23:46 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Milind Ekbote,Court
A riot control vehicle arrived at the Shivajinagar court as attempt was made to throw ink on Milind Ekbote when he was presented before a court in Pune on Monday.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

High drama prevailed at the Shivajinagar court premises on Monday, minutes after Samasta Hindu Aghadi leader Milind Ekbote was produced in court which extended his police custody by two days. As Ekbote was coming out of the courtroom, a man made a failed attempt at hurling black ink on Ekbote’s face. Ekbote is accused of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence on January 1.

Following the incident, police immediately detained Sanjay Haridas Waghmare, 30, a resident of Indiranagar in Bibwewadi area of Pune, for obstructing public servants while performing their duties. Later, Waghmare, Khade Vittal, 23; and Audesh Yadav, 27 were arrested a case was registered against the three under Sections 353, 332, 352, 34 of IPC.

Waghmare has been booked previously for various crimes including murder, possession of arms and forgery, at Shivajinagar and Bibwewadi police stations. The incident happened minutes after additional sessions judge Pralhad Bhagure remanded Ekbote in police custody till March 21.

The actions of Waghmare, who was found to have a criminal record, evoked sharp reaction from the family members and supporters of Ekbote who had gathered in large numbers on the court premises. The supporters chanted in support of Ekbote for almost half an hour while cornering the police.

While seeking custody of Ekbote, prosecution cited Ekbote's missing phone, which the police could not locate, and said that it is an essential detail in the probe. When asked about the last known location of the phone, deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Ganesh More also claimed that Ekbote might still be using the phone which he claims was lost on January 2. He told the court that the people on the other side of the line have told the police that they have been speaking to Ekbote.

While opposing police custody, Ekbote’s lawyer argued that his client has multiple health issues. When asked by the judge about the treatment meted out to him in police custody, Ekbote said that he had no complaints against the police treatment, but had medical issues that need addressing. Dressed in an untucked shirt and trousers, the 61-year-old said he had to wake up multiple times in the night to visit the bathroom, which was a cause for concern. He also cited the deficiency of Vitamin D and long-standing medical issues including diabetes and blood pressure.

Sambhaji Bhide blames Prakash Ambedkar

Hours before Ekbote was produced in the court, Shiv Pratisthan founder Sambhaji Bhide accused Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar and others at the Elgaar Parishad held at Shaniwarwada on December 31, 2017, for orchestrating the Bhima-Koregaon riots. In a press conference at Sangli on Monday, Bhide accused Ambedkar of using violence to “score political points”. Bhide’s statement has come after Ambedkar demanded the arrest of the Shiv Pratisthan founder. Speaking in Marathi, he claimed that the police are trying to send a sanyasi to the gallows instead of punishing the thieves.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 23:45 IST