Bhima-Koregaon Violence: Hindutva Leader Milind Ekbote’s Anticipatory Bail Plea Rejected

Ekbote, along with Sambhaji Bhide, was booked for instigating violence at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1 that left one person dead.

Milind Ekbote. Credit: Milind Ekbote/YouTube

“They (Ekobote and Sambhaji Bhide) may not have been present at the crime scene, but they are the masterminds,” Prakash Ambedkar told The Wire. Credit: Milind Ekbote/YouTube

Pune: A Pune court on January 23 rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Milind Ekbote, a pro-Hindutva leader, booked for allegedly inciting violence on January 1 during an event commemorating the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.

District judge P.C. Bhagure rejected the anticipatory bail petition, defence counsel Prasad Kulkarni said.

Ekbote had approached the court seeking anticipatory bail.

A case has been registered against Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head the Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan respectively, for allegedly “inciting” the violence that left a man dead. Subsequent protests against the incident also disrupted normal life in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai.

The two organisations had opposed the celebration of the “British victory” in the battle between the armies of the East India Company and the Peshwa. People belonging to the Mahar community among Dalits had fought for the British, while the Peshwas were Brahmins. Dalit organisations celebrate the victory as a symbol of their resurgence.

A member of the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party from Pune had filed a police complaint against the two leaders under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), accusing them of “orchestrating” the violence.

Dalit organisations have been seeking arrest of the two leaders.

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