Supreme Court slams Maharashtra govt for not arresting Milind Ekbote

Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Maharashtra government for protecting Milind Ekbote, the founder of Samasta Hindu Aghadi, in the Bhima Koregaon riots case. Till now, the government counsel had held the stand that Ekbote is absconding and not to be found.

However, Ekbote’s counsel told the apex court that his client has been willing to present himself to the police and is willing to cooperate with them. The counsel blamed the Pune police for not calling Ekbote for questioning. At which point, the apex court pulled up the state government for protecting Ekbote and misleading the court.

Though the apex court has extended the interim bail for Ekbote, it also criticised the state for the delay in investigations in this case. The state has been directed to hasten the investigations and the SC also said “If need be, Ekbote too can be arrested.” Though he has been granted an interim relief. The court is tracking the developments and said the decision on granting him relief will depend on whether he cooperates with the police.

Ekbote is one of the prime accused in the January 1, Bhima Koregaon riots, as one of the two conspirators. The hearing was for Ekbote’s application for anticipatory bail. It was previously rejected by the Bombay High Court. Meanwhile, a Pune based activist, Pradeep Bhalerao has filed an intervention application, who is represented Advocate Nitin Satpute. The hearing has been adjourned for March 14.

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