Hindu Ekta Aghadi leader Milind Ekbote, accused for instigating Bhima Koregaon violenc, was arrested by police after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
After the dismissal of his plea by the apex court, Ekbote was detained by the by the Pune Rural Police from his residence in Pune.
A case has been registered against Milind Ekbote and another pro-Hindutva leader, Sambhaji Bhide, at the police station for allegedly inciting the anti-Dalit violence that left a man dead near Bhima Koregaon war memorial in the district on 1 January.
On 2 February, the Bombay High Court had rejected Ekbote’s anticipatory bail plea.
Dalits heading for 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon came under attack on January 1. Ekbote and some other pro-Hindutva leaders had earlier opposed the celebration of the battle.
Dalits in Maharashtra celebrate the victory of East India Company forces over the Peshwa’s Army in the 1818 battle, as the Company forces included soldiers from the Dalit Mahar community.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced withdrawal of all cases, except serious ones, in connection with the violence at Bhima-Koregaon in Pune district.
The Chief Minister had also said that the loss of property worth Rs 13 crore during the violence will be compensated by the state government.
“We will form a committee under Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) to assess serious offences that were committed during the episode,” he said.
“This committee will submit recommendations to a cabinet sub-committee which will then decide whether the serious cases (too) should be withdrawn. The committee will submit its report in three months,” the chief minister said.
Violence erupted when thousands of Dalits were visiting a war memorial at Bhima Koregaon on January 1 this year. Some pro-Hindutva outfits had opposed the celebration of the 1818 battle at Bhima Koregaon.
While a total of 622 cases were registered, around 350 of them were related to serious offences, the chief minister told the Upper House of legislature today.
As many as 1,119 people were arrested, he said, adding that seventeen cases were registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and 2,053 people were taken into preventive custody.
(With agency inputs)