The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the anticipatory bail application of Milind Ekbote, one of the Hindutva leaders accused of inciting violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on New Year’s Day. He was later detained from his house at Shivajinagar in Pune. The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people during a statewide shutdown in January following clashes in Bhima-Koregaon.
On January 1, the violence at Bhima-Koregaon left one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen. Violence erupted after some people, reportedly with saffron flags, pelted stones at cars heading towards Bhima Koregaon for the commemoration of New Year’s Day.
Dalit leaders and workers at the village alleged that Hindutva activists Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide had instigated the violence. On January 2, Dalit groups protested in Mumbai. The unrest led to the death of a youth. In February, the Supreme Court reprimanded the Maharashtra Police for not doing enough to arrest Ekbote, who had earlier been granted anticipatory bail by the court till February 20.