Anti-Odisha remarks: Court allows police to take Abhijit Iyer on 2-day remand

Konark: The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court today granted permission to Konark police to take Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra on a two-day remand over his alleged derogatory remarks against Sun Temple and Odisha culture.

Yesterday, the court had rejected Iyer’s bail plea and sent him to judicial custody till November 5. He was lodged at the Nimapara sub-jail.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bhubaneswar SDJM court had allowed the Konark police to take Iyer on a four-day remand for interrogation in the case.

On Tuesday, Iyer was arrested by the Commissionerate police in connection with a criminal case filed against him at Saheed Nagar Police Station after he appeared before the House Committee headed by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra over breach of privilege.

He has been booked under IPC Sections 294, 295A, 153A, 500, 506 and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.

Notably, two separate FIRs have been lodged against Iyer for criticizing the culture of Odisha on social media.

Iyer, who is a friend of former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, drew flak from all quarters of leaders cutting across the party line after he posted a video on social media making derogatory remarks on the Sun Temple and a series of tweets insulting Odisha people and their culture.

Following this, the Assembly Speaker constituted a six-member House committee for the probe into his alleged remarks against members of the Assembly.

Iyer made objectionable remarks following his recent visit to Odisha along with his aides including former parliamentarian on the latter’s chopper.

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