Saturday, February 3, 2018

HC rejects anticipatory bail plea of Hindutva leader

Milind Ekbote

PUNE: The Mumbai High Court rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, a key accused charged with inciting the casteist riots of January 1 in Pune.

With this, the stage is set for the possible of arrest of Ekbote - who heads the Hindu Ekta Manch - and has been booked under three different cases pertaining to the Koregaon-Bhima incident in which a youth was killed, besides many injured and widespread damage to public and private properties worth around Rs 9 crore.

A division bench of Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati H. Dangre, while rejecting Ekbote's contentions challenging a Pune Sessions Court order declining his anticipatory plea, ruled that the lower court's observations in the matter could not be ignored.

Citing the Pune court, dismissing his anticipatory bail plea on January 22, observed that he was an accused in a "grave matter with very serious charges" against him, the bench said: "We cannot ignore the averments made by the (Pune) trial court against the appellant. Therefore we find no merit in this plea and are inclined to reject it."

Challenging the sessions court's order rejecting his pre-arrest bail plea, Ekbote argued that police had erred in lodging the charges against him since he was not present at the site of the violence in Koregaon-Bhima. Accordingly, he contended there was no question of him inciting any violence or committing any acts of atrocities, as alleged by police.


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