New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday turned down the bail of journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, who was arrested on September 20 for his derogatory remarks on Twitter about Odisha and the world famous Konark Sun Temple.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed his bail petition, saying his remarks about the temple had incited communal disharmony amongst citizen. Meanwhile, when Mitra’s counsel said his life was in danger, the apex court said that prison would be the safest place for him and there is no need of protection.
Odisha Police had arrested Abhijit Iyer from Nizamuddin area on September 20 after videos showcasing his derogatory remarks on Konark Sun Temple and Lord Jagannath surfaced on internet causing widespread resentment among Odias. He was granted bail by Saket Court on the same day which disallowed Odisha Police to take him on remand.
His interim relief was extended by the apex court till October 5. Besides, the court also ordered the Odisha Police to make necessary security arrangement for Abhijit’s appearance in Orissa High Court, if he wants so. Pointing to the erotic sculptures of couples in various stages of intimacy at the temple complex, Mitra said: “Can this be a holy place? Not at all. This is a conspiracy against Hindus by Muslims who want to keep us down. Jai Sriram. In our new Ram temple, such obscene sculptures will not be there.”
It should be noted that Iyer-Mitra had come to Odisha on September 15. After visiting Puri, Konark and Chilika, he allegedly posted derogatory remarks on social media insulting the state, its culture and tradition and the lawmakers. His comments caused uproar in the state Assembly. A house committee formed by the Odisha Assembly has asked him to appear before it on October 11.