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Odisha Assembly Passes Motion to Forgive Abhijit Mitra for 'Derogatory Remarks' on MLAs, Sun Temple

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was arrested after two FIRs were filed against him for an alleged sarcastic video and comments on the Konark Sun Temple.

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Updated:November 17, 2018, 8:25 PM IST
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Odisha Assembly Passes Motion to Forgive Abhijit Mitra for 'Derogatory Remarks' on MLAs, Sun Temple
Defence analyst and journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (Twitter/@Iyervval)
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New Delhi: Odisha Legislative Assembly on Saturday passed a motion to pardon defence and international security expert Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, days after his bail plea was rejected. Mitra was arrested on October 23 for ‘derogatory remarks’ on legislators against state legislators and the Konark Sun Temple.

Iyer-Mitra was arrested after two FIRs — one each in Konark and Bhubaneshwar — were filed against him for an alleged sarcastic video and comments on the Konark Sun Temple.

The Delhi-based defence analyst had on September 16 posted what he himself described as a "disparaging" video on Twitter, reaching his nearly 20,000 followers. His comments about the temple, which he had later clarified as a 'joke', led to an outrage. In fact, a privilege motion was moved in the Odisha Assembly demanding action against him for ‘hurting religious sentiments’.

Iyer-Mitra has been slapped with many charges for an apparent joke that has now turned into a 'crime'. Charged under Section 153A of the IPC he has been accused of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and race in a place of worship. He is also charged under Sections 295A and 298 for "committing acts or uttering words intended to outrage or wound the religious feelings of any individual or class" and Section 34 for "acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention".

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