Abhjit Iyer not arrested for comment on Rasogolla: Odisha Police

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Cuttack/Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police on Saturday clarified that journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, has been arrested by the Commissionerate Police for derogatory remarks on art and culture of Odisha, Odia community and Lord Jagannath and not on the basis of commenting on Rasogolla.

The clarification comes after the Odisha Police noticed that some sections of media have reported that Abhijit Iyer Mitra has been arrested by Odisha Police due to his Twitter comment on Rasogolla. The Odisha Police has termed such reports absolutely ‘false’ and ‘mischievous’.

In a press note issued today, the Odisha Police said, “Mitra’s frivolous comment on Rasogolla is not at all a ground for legal action against him. The fact remains that Mitra 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.”

Mitra has also made objectionable comments hurting sentiments of different religious communities, the note mentioned.

The Odisha Police also mentioned the offensive comments which are reproduced here accurately.

  • “My Special Message to you from the Konark temple expressing my utter disgust at this monumental conspiracy against the Hindu civilisation”.
  • “This temple was a Humple. “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 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”.
  • Orissa itself was discovered by Bengali Explorers. The remark Ori-Shala “and it was named Orisha.
  • Jagannath temple built by the Gangas, who were disgraced Pallava Tamil Retainers.6. No such thing as Orissa, just the wild southern provinces of undivided Bengal.
  • Oriya Propaganda – Jagannath was actually a deity of Kolkata, Idol stolen by evil Kalinga Demon Kings.

On the basis of such offensive comments by Mitra two cases have been registered in Puri and Bhubaneswar. The first case was registered at Konark PS, case (92/18) under Sections 153-A, 295-A, 298 and 34 IPC, Section 66 of IT Act and Section 30 of Ancient Monument & Archeological sites & Remains Act has been registered against Abhijit Iyer Mitra on September 19, 2018.

Another complaint against Abhijit Iyer Mitra has been registered at Saheed Nagar PS in Bhubaneswar on September 20, case (432/18) under Sections 294, 295(A), 500, 153 (A) of the IPC and Section 67 of IT Act.

The above mentioned malicious and objectionable comments by Mitra have 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, Mitra have uttered words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings (Sec. 298 IPC).

The above mentioned malicious and defamatory comments by Mitra 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.

Mitra also further incited the public by posting objectionable word “SALA” for the entire Odia community, the press note further stated.

Notably, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra moved Supreme Court for legal protection. However in view of his offensive comments the apex court in its order (dated 04.10.2018) refused to give any protection to him.

After hearing pleas of Mitra the Supreme Court observed that: “The applicant-petitioner, in our considered view, is not entitled for any further protection” and his application “seeking extension of the time period of protection to the petitioner is accordingly rejected.”It was but natural that after the above observations of the apex court the law would take its course.

Accordingly Mitra was arrested and produced before Bhubaneswar SDJM court which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

Subsequently on a petition by the Investigation Officer the learned court has granted two days police remand for his custodial examination.

Based on the above mentioned events, it can be seen that there has been no issue regarding Rasogalla anywhere from lodging FIR to investigation to judicial custody of Abhijit Iyer Mitra.

“There has been malicious campaign by some vested interest to malign Odisha Police by propagating a false propaganda about a non-existent issue of Rasogalla and thereby covering the actual deeds of accused Abhijit Iyer Mitra,” the Police Headquarters clarified.

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