Court grants bail to Milind Ekbote
He has been ordered not to tamper with evidence or threaten witnesses and attend court regularly
Pune: Samast Hindu Aghadi President Milind Ekbote, whom police say is the prime conspirator in the Koregaon-Bhima violence, was granted bail in the case on Thursday by the Pune district court.
He was earlier granted bail related to the atrocity case in the same incident. After expiry of his police custody, Ekbote was lodged in Yerwada Central Jail.
Additional Sessions Judge SM Menjoge ordered his release on furnishing personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one or two sureties of like amount. He has been ordered not to tamper with evidence or threaten witnesses. He has to attend court regularly.
After the violence on January 1, Pune rural police registered the FIR on their own at Shikrapur police station, after one youth was killed, several injured and properties worth Rs 3.34 crore damaged.
Ekbote’s advocate SK Jain submitted to the court, “Ekbote’s name in the case was added on April 4. His name is not mentioned in the FIR. The police have already recorded his statement and other accused in the case has been released on bail.”
According to the police, on December 29, 2017, Ekbote held a meeting with journalists at Hotel Sonai in Pernephata, where the Vijaystambh, is located and distributed provocative pamphlets. “The situation was tense in Wadhu village nearby after installation of a board with objectionable matter at the grave of Govind Gaikwad on December 27. A case was registered with Shikrapur police station. Then he distributed the pamphlets which triggered violence between two groups on January 1. In the past there are several cases against him,” District Government Pleader Ujwala Pawar submitted.
The police said initially 11 persons were named in the FIR after the violence and now there are 1,400 persons accused in the case.
While granting bail, the judge stated, “It would not be proper to deny the bail... on the sole background of his criminal antecedent. He is a permanent resident of Pune, having deep roots in society. There is no possibility of him absconding. Statement of accused during his police custody has little evidential value. Not only this, other accused in this crime have been released on bail.”