Bhalerao has claimed the court “erred” in granting bail to Ekbote as he is a habitual offender.
Mumbai: A victim of the January 1 violence at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, has filed an application in the Bombay high court challenging the bail granted by a local court to Milind Ekbote, the prime accused in the case.
Petitioner Sanjay Bhalerao has claimed that the sessions court “erred” in granting bail to Ekbote for it failed to take note of the fact that the latter was charged with a serious offence and that he was a habitual offender. Mr Bhalerao, in his plea filed through his counsel Nitin Satpute, cited police records to show that Ekbote had several cases lodged against him in the past.
According to the plea, Ekbote had 17 cases of similar atrocities registered against him. Mr Bhalerao further said that the police probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence showed that it was a pre-planned conspiracy. He said that Ekbote enjoyed much clout in the local community, and hence, was likely to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence if released on bail. Mr Bhalerao urged the high court to cancel Ekbote’s bail.
While the plea was mentioned before the vacation bench of the high court earlier this week, it will likely be taken up for hearing by a regular bench on June 5.
On January 1, violence erupted at an event meant to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which British forces defeated the Peshwa army on January 1, 1818. The violence led to the death of one person and injuries to several others including 10 policemen.
Ekbote was arrested in March after the local court in Pune, the Bombay high court, and the Supreme Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea. However, a month after his arrest, he was granted bail by the Pune court.