first_imgThe Pune District and Sessions court on Thursday remanded Milind Ekbote, prime accused in inciting the Bhima-Koregaon riots on New Year’s Day, to police custody till 19 March.Mr. Ekbote was arrested by a team of the Pune Rural Police after the Supreme Court on Wednesday had cancelled his interim bail relief.The police had requested the court for a 14-day custody in order to carry out a comprehensive interrogation of the accused, said sources.The probe agencies are trying to retrieve Mr. Ekbote’s mobile phone to examine his call records and determine the printing source of thousands of inflammatory pamphlets which were allegedly distributed a few days before the riots of January 1.“We had petitioned the court that Mr. Ekbote be given minimum remand as he had no direct involvement in the riots,” said S.K. Jain, Mr. Ekbote’s counsel.Mr. Ekbote, who has been booked under a various sections pertaining to rioting under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Atrocities Act, was picked up from his home in the city’s Shivajinagar area on Wednesday.Two FIRs were lodged against Mr. Ekbote — who is executive president of the outfit Samasta Hindu Aghadi — and 85-year-old leader Sambhaji Bhide ‘Guruji’ for allegedly orchestrating the Koregaon Bhima riots which left one person dead during the celebrations to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.The opposition Congress have accused the State government of going ‘soft’ on Mr. Bhide, who is based in Sangli, while the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade have demanded that a narco-analysis test be conducted on Mr. Ekbote to determine the full extent of his involvement in orchestrating the riots.The apex court quashed further extensions of Mr. Ekbote’s bail relief after the State prosecutor submitted that he was not cooperating with the probe agencies.Earlier, Mr. Ekbote’s anticipatory bail application was rejected by the Pune Sessions court on January 22 and again by the Bombay High Court on February 2.last_img

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