MUMBAI: A Pune district court on Monday rejected anticipatory bail application filed by Milind Ekbote who has been booked for instigation of violence at Koregaon Bhima on January 1. While Ekbote is expected to be arrested soon, the Pune police have arrested former deputy sarpanch of Bhima Koregaon village for coordinating the bandh and managing villager's protests at the village on the day.
After Ekbote's name came up as one of the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon riots case and an FIR was registered by the Pimpri police against him and the others, the 61-year-old filed for anticipatory bail. The application was to be heard at the sessions court at Pune district court last week, but the date was postponed as judge Pralhad Bhadure was on a three-day holiday.
The Shivajinagar sessions court, where the anticipatory bail plea came up for hearing before judge Bhadure on Monday, rejected the plead.
Ekbote has been accused of orchestrating violence at 200th anniversary celebrations of the Bhima Koregaon battle on January 1. He has been booked under relevant sections of Prevention of Atrocities Act, Indian Penal Coad and the Arms Act.
Meanwhile, late on Sunday night, the Pune police arrested Ganesh Phadtare, former deputy sarpanch on Bhima Koregaon and one of the main suspects in the case. He too has been charged with conspiring and leading bandh at Bhima Koregaon and a protest march at Vadhu, which were the activities followed by violence on January 1.
Police have claimed that Phadtare was behind the co-ordination of the bandh and was also managing the villagers’ protest march from the background.
However, police refused to comment on Phadtare’s links to Ekbote or Bhide, or allegations of their involvement in the conspiracy.