MUMBAI: Samasta Hindu Aghadi leader Milind Ekbote, who had been granted bail in a case earlier, was granted a conditional bail in another case related to Bhima-Koregaon violence by the additional district and sessions judge S M Menjoge in Pune on Thursday. Ekbote had been in jail since March 14.
Ekbote was arrested by the Pune rural police in connection with cases related destruction of public property during violence in Bhima Koregaon area just after he was granted bail in the atrocities case filed against him by Dalit activists. The arguments in the case were over on Tuesday after which judge Menjoge had reserved the ruling on bail. Today he was granted bail on conditions of not holding or addressing press conferences, not holding or addressing public meetings, not leaving country without prior permission of the court and remaining present at the Shikrapur police station on every Monday.
Ekbote was arrested under various sections of the IPC and other legislations regarding prevention of destruction of public property. Initially he was sent to police custody till Apr 7 and was shifted to judicial custody. Adv S K Jain and Adv Amol Dange filed for his bail while senior district government pleader Ujwala Pawar and witness’ advocates Taufiq Sheikh and Kumar Kalel opposed the bail.
Adv Pawar had opposed the bail while arguing that Ekbote distributed a pamphlet with objectionable content at the Sonai Hotel on December 30 which incited two communities against each other leading to the communal violence. She also cited confidential witness statements to oppose the bail. However, defence lawyers argued that Ekbote already got bail in the case he was charged with conspiracy and atrocity against Dalits and that pamphlet issued by Ekbote on December 30 is just a view and it has nothing to do with the conspiracy of January 1 violence. Adv Sheikh opposed Ekbote’s bail plea citing criminal cases against him in the past.
However, the court granted bail to Ekbote.