Pune: Milind Ekbote, an accused in Bhima Koregaon violence, was sent to 14 days judicial custody on Wednesday by a sessions court in Pune.
Ekbote along with another ‘Hindutva’ outfit leader Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji were booked under relevant sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly orchestrating the violence in Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
Dalits had congregated around the Victory Pillar (Vijay Stambh) erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when stone pelting had taken place, allegedly by some right-wing groups.
This had led to clashes between the two groups, leading to prohibitory orders being imposed in the entire Pune district. Rahul Fatangale, 28, from Nanded was killed in the subsequent violence.
Later, protests by the Dalits had spread to several towns and cities in Maharashtra, including capital Mumbai. The protests was led by Prakash Ambedkar, the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader and grandson of BR Ambedkar. He had called a ‘Maharashtra bandh’ to protest against the government’s ‘failure’ to stop the violence. It was called off after talks with the state government.
In February 2018, the Maharashtra government had appointed a judicial commission, under retired justice Jai Narayan Patel, to conduct a probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence.
Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory, as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community – then considered untouchable – were part of the East India Company’s forces.