Bhubaneswar: Odisha police today cleared an air the reason behind the arrest of Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who is currently in judicial custody for interrogation into his alleged anti-Odisha remarks.
The statement came after some media carried the report that Abhijit was arrested for his comments on Rasagolla on Twitter.
However, it was turned out to be false with the statement of Odisha police in a release here today.
“There have been reports in some sections of media that one Abhijit Iyer Mitra has been arrested by Odisha Police due to his Twitter comment on Rasogolla. This is absolutely false and mischievous. His frivolous comment on Rasogolla is not at all a ground for legal action against him,” the State police said in a release.
“Iyer has been arrested on FIRs registered on his derogatory, mischievous and objectionable comments on art and culture of Odisha, Lord Jagannath and Odia community as a whole. He has also made objectionable comments hurting sentiments of different religious communities,” the release stated.
The police clarified that two cases have been registered in Puri and Bhubaneswar against Iyer for his alleged offensive comments.
A case No.92 U/s 153-A/295-A/ 298/34 IPC/66 I.T. Act/30 Ancient Monument & Archeological sites & Remains Act has been registered against Abhijit Iyer-Mitra at Konark Police Station on September 19. Another complaint has been registered at Saheed Nagar Police Station in Bhubaneswar on September 20 under section 294/295(A)/500/153 (A) IPC & 67 IT Act against him.
The comments outraged feelings of people of different religions (Sec. 295-A IPC). The remarks have also promoted enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and are prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Sec. 153 (A). Moreover, Shri Iyer-Mitra has uttered words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings (Sec. 298 IPC), clarified Odisha police.
The malicious and defamatory comments by Iyer have hurt the religious feelings of people who believe in Lord Jagannath. These comments are also detrimental and prejudicial to the peaceful and harmonious communal environment of the state. He also further incited the public by posting objectionable word SALA for entire Odia community, the release stated.
Abhijit Iyer-Mitra had moved the Supreme Court for legal protection. However, in view of his offensive comments, the apex court in its order on Oct 4 refused to give any protection to him.
Following his petition for protection was turned down by the apex court, he was arrested and produced before a local court in Bhubaneswar that sent him to judicial custody for 14 days. Subsequently, on a petition by the Investigation Officer, the court in Konark has granted two days police remand for his custodial examination.
“As can be seen there has been no issue regarding Rasagolla anywhere from lodging FIR to investigation to judicial custody of Abhijit Iyer. There has been the malicious campaign by some vested interest to malign Odisha police by propagating a false propaganda about a non-existent issue of Rasagolla and thereby covering the actual deeds of accused Abhijit Iyer,” Odisha police said in the release.