Bhima-Koregaon Riots: Ekbote Gets Interim Protection from Arrest
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 7 February, protected Milind Ekbote, the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence in Maharashtra from arrest. The violence on 1 January had left one person dead.
A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph granted Ekbote interim protection from arrest till 20 February in the case.
The bench said that in the event of Ekbote's arrest, he should be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 1 lakh.
A court in Pune on Tuesday, 6 February had issued an arrest warrant against Ekbote, who was booked for allegedly inciting violence on 1 January during an event to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.
A case was registered against Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head the Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Shivraj Pratishthan respectively, for allegedly "inciting" violence that left a man dead near Bhima Koregaon on 1 January.
Subsequent protests had disrupted normal life in Mumbai.
The Bombay High Court had on 2 February rejected Ekbote's anticipatory bail plea. Before that, a Pune court had also rejected a similar plea.
“Police teams have been formed to trace Ekbote. We have told the court that he could not be found during searches. Before declaring him an absconder, there is a pre-condition and procedure that a warrant needs to be issued. We had requested for the warrant and the court issued it,” said Suvez Haque, Superintendent of Police.
Multiple teams have been formed to trace Ekbote.
A police official from the crime branch said Ekbote's friends, relatives and supporters were being questioned.