Milind Ekbote, one of the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, has approached the Bombay High Court seeking anticipatory bail. Ekbote’s plea was mentioned before a bench led by Justice B R Gavai on Monday after a sessions court refused to grant him any interim protection from arrest last week. The matter is likely to come up for hearing on January 31. Last week, a special court in Pune had rejected a plea for anticipatory bail filed by Ekbote, facing charges of inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon.
Two First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against Ekbote and Manohar, alias Sambhaji Bhide, by Dalit activists, alleging their role in the violence at Bhima Koregaon when lakhs of Dalits had assembled at the “Jaystambh” in Perne village on the Pune-Ahmednagar road to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
Ekbote and Bhide have been booked on charges of inciting violence, attempt to murder and atrocities against Dalits. Following a dispute over erecting a board at Vadhu Budruk village, clashes between Dalits and Marathas had erupted in Bhima Koregaon and adjoining villages on January 1, leaving one person dead and several others, including 10 policemen, injured.