Bhima-Koregaon violence: Sessions court grants bail to Ekbote

April 04, 2018 07:59 pm | Updated 07:59 pm IST

Pune: A court in Shirur Taluk in Pune district on Wednesday directed radical Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, the prime accused in orchestrating the Bhima-Koregaon riots of January 1, to four days of police custody.

The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court in Shirur gave the directive against the Hindutva leader based on a complaint lodged under section 307 (attempt to murder) and other sections under the Indian Penal Code and the Maharashtra Property Damage Act at Shikrapur police station.

However, in a parallel development later in the day, the Pune District and Sessions court granted bail to Mr. Ekbote following a hearing on the latter’s application for the same.

In response, advocates Tosif Shaikh and Kumar Kalel moved an application under Section 14 (a) of the Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act, 2015, requesting a stay in the granting of Mr. Ekbote’s bail.

A hearing on the application has been scheduled for April 5.

“We will move the Bombay High Court to seek the quashing of Ekbote’s bail and have accordingly filed an application in the Pune Sessions Court today,” Mr. Shaikh told The Hindu .

He said the prosecution had argued that the Hindutva leader had been stirring up religious tensions since 1995 and had at least 23 cases against him for disrupting peace and communal harmony.

Earlier, on March 29, Mr. Shaikh had filed an intervention application on behalf of Anjana Gaikwad, who claimed to be a victim of the riots, opposing Mr. Ekbote’s bail.

Ms. Gaikwad, along with another person, Anita Salvi, had filed the first complaint against Ekbote and octogenarian Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide ‘Guruji’, accusing them of inciting violence during the bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

Mr. Ekbote, who has a rash of charges against him following the Bhima-Koregaon riots of January 1 this year, was finally arrested by a team of the Pune Rural Police on March 14 after the Supreme Court cancelled his interim bail relief.

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