The Supreme Court today rejected the anticipatory bail application of Milind Ekbote, one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence. Minutes after the Supreme Court decision, he was detained by the police at his house at Shivajinagar in Pune. He had earlier moved the top court after his bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court. Ekbote has been accused of involvement in the case. The violence had occurred during an event to mark the Koregaon-Bhima battle in which British forces comprising Dalits had defeated the army of At least one person was killed in the violence.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur aJustice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta, rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by Ekbote, seeking relief from the apex court. It rejected the plea after considering the status report filed by Maharashtra government. Earlier, the top court had granted relief to him till March 14.
Last month, Ekbote submitted a representation to the Shikrapur police station, where an FIR was filed against him for allegedly causing violence during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1. He also claimed to be a follower of Dr B R Ambedkar and said that he along with his followers did a lot of work under the name of Ambedkar as they have “pure feelings” towards the leader, “which cannot be expressed in words”.
Submitting his version of the incident, Ekbote said he and Sambhaji Bhide, head of Shivraj Pratishthan, had nothing to do with the clashes in Koregaon Bhima. Ekbode also claimed that Prakash Ambedkar, while holding a press conference on January 1, made baseless allegations that both of them responsible for the violence at Koregaon Bhima. He also alleged that Ambedkar announced a Maharashtra bandh on January 2, causing tension in the state.
“Around Rs 1,000 crore of loss was incurred by the government because of the bandh. I’m nowhere related to the incident of the Koregaon Bhima violence. Bhide and I have been dragged into this. The reason being Bhide, CM (Devendra) Fadnavis, RSS chief (Mohan) Bhagwat and myself belong to the same society (samaj),” Ekbote says. “Naxalites and Leftists, who have no support of the public, had organised an event in Maharashtra calling it ‘Prernamarch’ from December 31, 2017. The agenda of ‘Prernamarch’ was to make villagers around Pune aware of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018. However, through ‘Prernamarch’, Naxalites had sown the seeds of casteism and division in the society in Maharashtra,” he has alleged as per The Indian Express.