Odisha Govt Pardons Abhijit Iyer Mitra for His Konark Comment, Withdraws Cases Against Him


The move came after Mitra, who is currently in jail, offered and unconditional apology and the Odisha legislative Assembly decided to pardon him on Nov 16.

Defence analyst and journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (Twitter/@Iyervval)
New Delhi:

The Odisha government on Tuesday decided to withdraw cases against Delhi-based defence analyst Abhijit Iyer Mitra for his alleged derogatory remarks about the Sun temple in Konark.

The move came after Mitra, who is currently in jail, had made an appeal to the Odisha government to consider withholding sanction to prosecute him in certain criminal cases.

“Taking into account his representation, the government has decided not to accord sanction of prosecution in cases where prosecution has been sought for and also decided to take steps to withdraw other cases pending against him,” said a statement form Odisha home department.

In his petition to the state government, Mitra requested the chief minister and the chief secretary to withdraw the sanctions prosecuting him under Section 196 of the CrPC.

He also apologised for the video saying he didn’t intend to hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha

The Odisha Assembly had on November 16 pardoned Mitra after he tendered an unconditional and unreserved apology for his statement against the lawmakers.

The Assembly accepted the recommendations made by a House Committee which was set up to inquire into the question of alleged breach of privilege relating to the statement made by Mitra.

Abhijit might not have thought that the ‘joke’ about his visit to the Sun temple in Konark would turn into a crime. This while he was hobnobbing with former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda, a bete noire of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Abhijit was arrested, taken on remand in police custody for interrogation and later jailed for making derogatory remarks on the temple and his old remarks about members of the Odisha Assembly which were construed as breach of privilege.

He was lodged in the special jail at Bhubaneswar after the court rejected his bail plea and was sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

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