March 12, 2021 9:44:39 pm
A Pune court granted interim anticipatory bail on Friday to Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, who was booked for his alleged objectionable comments while opposing the construction of ‘Haj House’ in Kondhwa by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Satish Kale, vice president of Sambhaji Brigade, lodged the FIR in this case at Kondhwa police station. Based on Kale’s complaint, an offence was lodged against Ekbote as per sections 153, 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 500, 501, 502, 505(1)(c), 505(2) read with sec 34 & 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 66A & 66B of the Information technology Act.
Leader of the Samasta Hindu Aghadi, Ekbote moved court through lawyers S K Jain and Amol Dange seeking anticipatory bail, claiming that the FIR against him was “false and fabricated”. Lawyers argued there was also a delay in lodging the FIR and that Ekote only brought to the notice that construction of ‘Haj House’ under the name of ‘civic cultural and community centre’ on land in possession of PMC cannot be carried out as per verdicts of the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court.
The court said that custodial interrogation of Ekbote is not required at this stage and passed an order granting him interim anticipatory bail till filing of the reply by the prosecution. Court also directed Ekbote to co-operate with the investigating agency and not tamper with prosecution evidence.
In a video that went viral on social media and also in a complaint letter that he sent to Pune Municipal Commissioner on March 2, Ekbote had opposed the construction of ‘Haj House’ in Kondhwa claiming it was contempt of a Supreme Court order. Ekbote further referred to Kondhwa as “mini-Pakistan” and claimed that intelligence reports had pointed to “sleeper cells” for terrorists who had been operating from the area.
Kale, who is also a resident of Kondhwa, accompanied by other activists, had filed a complaint at the Kondhwa police station against Ekbote on March 5 alleging that he has defamed a particular community.
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