Abhijit Iyer-Mitra arrested for remarks against Odisha, Konark Sun Temple


Bhubaneswar: Delhi-based columnist and Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was arrested in connection with a case registered against him at Saheed Nagar police station here for his derogatory remarks against the Konark Sun Temple in Puri.

He was booked under Sections of 294, 295-A, 506, 500, 153-A of IPC and 67 IT Act on September 20 for allegedly making offensive remarks against Sun Temple.

Notably, two FIRs were registered against him at the Saheed Nagar police station in Bhubaneswar and Konark police station in Puri.

Last month, the Odisha police arrested Iyer-Mitra in New Delhi for his anti-Odisha comments. However, he was given conditional bail by a local court in the national capital. Later, the Supreme Court rejected his bail plea saying his comments ‘incited religious sentiments’.

Earlier in the day today, the columnist appeared before a House Committee of the Odisha Assembly and tendered an unconditional apology for his derogatory remarks against the Sun Temple and comments on legislators.

The House panel headed by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingh Mishra asked Abhijit to reappear on November 2 and submit an affidavit.

“Today Abhijit Iyer-Mitra admitted to the charges levelled against him and offered an unconditional apology for his ‘stupidity’. He has been directed to depose before the Committee and submit an affidavit in this regard ,” said Mishra.

Mishra said, “After examining his affidavit, the committee will decide whether to accept his unconditional apology or not. Accordingly, the Committee will recommend to the House.”

Though he had earlier been summoned to appear before the panel on October 11, he had skipped. He was summoned again to appear on October 23.

On September 20, Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat had constituted a six-member House Committee to probe the journalist’s alleged derogatory remarks against the State and its MLAs.

On September 16, he had posted a video on Twitter criticising the Konark Sun Temple. Later, he went on to make the alleged derogatory remarks against Odisha and its culture and also MLAs while the latter raise the issue in the Assembly.

He allegedly called the Odisha MLAs (buddu) fools.

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