Odisha Police Arrests Iyer-Mitra For His Alleged Derogatory Tweets On Sun And Jagannath Temples


New Delhi: The Odisha police arrested political commentator Abhijit Iyer-Mitra from Delhi days after his allegedly derogatory tweets on the Sun and the Jagannath temples created a storm in Odisha Assembly and outside.  He was later grated bail.

Manish Khurana, chief metropolitan magistrate of Delhi’s Saket court, granted Iyer-Mitra bail on a bond of Rs 1 lakh, directing him to join investigation in Konark police station by September 28.

A Odisha police team from Konark arrived at Delhi’s Nizamuddin police station this morning with an arrest warrant against Iyer-Mitra, a friend of former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, accusing him of deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, using words, deliberately intended to wound the religious feelings of any person, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion under the Indian Penal Code and under section 66 of Information Technology Act.

The case were lodged following his tweets on September 16 mocking the erotic sculptures of the 13th century Sun temple at Konark as well as another disparaging post on the 12th century Jagannath temple, which is one of the four major Hindu pilgrimage sites. Panda has been accused of the same offences, while another case under the same charges lodged against Iyer-Mitra at Bhubaneswar’s Sahid Nagar police station, sources said.

No senior Odisha police official was ready to be quoted on the matter. Iyer-Mitra, who is also senior fellow of Delhi-based Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, has been in the eye of controversy ever since he flew over Chilka lake with Panda and a journalist on September 15, and then posted a vlog (video blog) of his trip to Konark the next day.

In the video posted on Twitter, he said the temple was a humple (a slang for sex). “Here people are seen having sex. You see all these statues where the women, men and the animals are having sex. Can this temple be an auspicious place? Never. These statues are against the tradition of the Hindu community. It is the conspiracy of the Muslims who want to denigrate us. All I want to say is Jai Shree Ram. At least such statues will not be found in our new Ram temple,” he said.

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