Odisha Court turned down bail petition of Abhijit Iyer Mitra, remanded him to 14-day judicial custody

Bhubaneswar: The court of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) here on Tuesday turned down the bail petition of security analyst and columnist Abhijit Iyer Mitra and remanded him to 14 days judicial custody.

According to reports, Mitra has been lodged in Jharpada Jail in Bhubaneswar. On the other hand Konark and Nimapara police have sought for a 7-day remand of Abhijit Iyer Mitra for further interrogation.

Mitra was on Tuesday arrested for his alleged derogatory remarks against the Sun Temple and Odisha culture. The Commissionerate Police arrested Mitra after hours of interrogation at an undisclosed location in the city.

Confirming the same, Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty said Mitra was arrested in connection with a criminal case registered against him at Saheed Nagar Police Station on September 20.

On the basis of a case (462/18), Mitra has been booked under IPC Sections 294, 295A, 153A, 500, 506 and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.

Iyer Mitra also appeared before the House Committee of Odisha Assembly Tuesday morning and tendered an unconditional apology for his derogatory remarks on Odisha’s legislators.

The House panel headed by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingha Mishra asked Iyer-Mitra to re-appear on November 2 and submit an affidavit.

“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 LoP Mishra.

“After examining his affidavit, the panel will decide whether to accept his apology or not. Accordingly, the panel will then recommend to the House to take action against him, if necessary,” Mishra added.

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

Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat had on September 20 constituted a House Committee to probe the journalist’s alleged derogatory remarks against the state and its lawmakers.

Iyer-Mitra had on September 16 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.

Two FIRs were registered against him at Konark and Saheed Nagar police stations for his remarks.

Last month, the Odisha Police arrested the columnist in New Delhi for his anti-Odisha comments. However, he was given conditional bail by a local court in Delhi.

Later, the Supreme Court rejected his bail plea saying his comments ‘incited religious sentiments’.