Odisha Assembly summons Abhijit Iyer Mitra for breach of privilege


Bhubaneswar, September 28, 2018: The Assembly Committee on Friday summoned Delhi-based journalist on Abhijit Iyer Mitra for committing breach of privilege of the House and legislators.

A decision to this effect was taken at the second meeting of the House Committee led by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra after he was found guilty of breach of privilege.

Director General of Police Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, Director (Intelligence) and authorities of two newspapers in which the news about Iyer’s comments were published appeared before the committee today.

After it was learnt from the information provided by them that Iyer is guilty of breach of privilege of the House and the MLAs, he was issued notice to appear before the committee.

“Notice will be issued to Abhijit Iyer Mitra asking him to appear before the House Committee at 11 am on October 11 at Room number 55 of the Odisha Assembly,” informed Committee chief Mishra.

Speaker Pradip Amat had constituted the House Committee to inquire into derogatory comments allegedly made by Iyer against Konark Sun Temple and Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odia people and Odisha MLAs. He even called Odisha MLAs buddu (fools).

The issue agitated members of the Assembly. A privilege motion was moved in the Assembly and a discussion was held while MLAs cutting across party lines demanded stringent action against Mitra.

Other members of the committee are Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, Arun Sahu, Debi Prasad Mishra, Sanjay Dasburma and Pramila Mallik (all BJD) and Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo.

The Committee has been asked to submit its report on the first day of the next session of the Assembly.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the Supreme Court directed that the interim order passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket shall remain in force till October 5, 2018 to facilitate Mitra to move the Orissa High Court.

Mitra was arrested in Delhi by Odisha police on September for making derogatory remarks and later granted bail the same day. He had moved Supreme Court for relief as the lawyers are on strike at the Orisa High Court.

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