The Pune Police have booked Milind Ekbote, president of Hindutva body Samasta Hindu Aghadi, and three others for allegedly making provocative speeches at an agitation in Maharashtra’s Pune, reported PTI.

Ekbote, along with Kunal Someshwar Kambale, Kiran Chandrakant Shinde, Vishal Dilip Pawar and others held a protest outside the Pune Municipal Corporation headquarters on September 4 to demand the removal of alleged encroachments alongside the Punyeshwar temple in Kasba Peth, the police said.

However, the protestors had not taken permission for the agitation. At the gathering, they made provocative speeches which had the potential to create a rift between communities, the police have said.

A case was registered against them at Shivajinagar police station under Indian Penal Code sections 141 (unlawful assembly), 142 (member of an unlawful assembly), 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 109 (punishment of abetment) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

Ekbote had also been booked in 2021 for delivering alleged hate speeches at an event to mark the occasion of the killing of Afzal Khan by Maratha ruler Shivaji, reported Hindustan Times. Afzal Khan was a general who served the Adil Shahi dynasty of the Bijapur Sultanate in India.

He was also named in a chargesheet of the first of the 22 cases filed in the aftermath of the Bhima Koregaon violence. He was accused of instigating and delivering an inflammatory speech. The case pertains to the caste violence that broke out on January 1, 2018, in Bhima Koregaon village near Pune.