State government has received a proposal from the police seeking sanction for filing the chargesheet in the case related to Koregaon Bhima violence of January 1, 2018, in which Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide are named as accused.
Replying to media persons in Pune on Friday, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the government has received a proposal seeking sanction for chargesheet in this case and a decision would be taken on it.
One person was killed and several others were left injured during the violence in Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018, when lakhs of Dalits, mainly from the Ambedkarite Mahar community had gathered at the “Jaystambh” in Perne village for the 200th commemoration of battle of Koregaon Bhima.
A day after the violence, on January 2, 2018, Dalit political activist Anita Sawale lodged first information report (FIR) against Sambhaji Bhide of Shri Shivpratisthan Hindusthan and Samasta Hindu Aghadi leader Milind Ekbote at the Pimpri police station (then under Pune city police jurisdiction), accusing them for instigating Koregaon Bhima violence. The duo were booked under sections of IPC and SC & ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. The case was later transferred to Shikrapur police station of the Pune rural police, under whose jurisdiction the Koregaon Bhima violence had taken place. Based on complaint applications by activists Sushma Andhare and Jaya Ingle, police named three persons identified as Ganesh Phadtare, Yogesh Gavhane and Anil Dave in the list of accused persons in this offence.
Since then police never arrested Bhide citing lack of evidence. Ekbote was arrested in this case on March 14, 2018 after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court. Ekbote had held a press conference in Pune city and then at Hotel Sonai in Koregaon Bhima area on December 30, 2017. It was alleged that the “pamphlet” given by Ekbote at the hotel meeting was part of a conspiracy to cause violence on January 1.
But Ekbote was granted bail by a court in this case on April 4, 2018. But Ekbote was not released as police arrested him in another case lodged by an assistant police inspector Nitin Shivaji Lakade, who got injured during the violence on January 1. About 40 more persons including some Dalits were also accused in this case of violence. After a few days, Ekbote got bail in this case too on April 17 and was released from jail. Police have filed chargesheet in this case. But, the other case in which Bhide too is an accused, chargesheet has not been filed yet.
A senior police officer said, “In the case of some legal provisions, a prosecution sanction from the government is required to file the chargesheet in the court…. A chargesheet in one case against Ekbote has been filed. The prosecution seeking sanction for submitting chargesheet in another case is pending with the government for the last few months.”