Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra was on Thursday released from the Odisha jail after he was granted bail by two courts in Konark and Bhubaneswar. The freedom for Abhijit came a day after the Orissa High Court granted him bail yesterday. He was released from judicial custody after 44 days.
Abhijit was granted conditional bail by the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Konark in Puri district and the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Bhubaneswar, in Khurda district earlier in the day.
Both the courts granted bail to Abhijit with a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each and on condition that he would never resort to anti-Odisha remarks in the future.
The Orissa High Court, while granting bail to Abhijit on Monday, had ruled that the two lower courts can grant bail to him on conditions.
Abhijit was arrested on October 23 on the basis of two FIRs filed against his name for allegedly passing derogatory remarks against Odisha, its people, Konark Temple and Lord Jagannath.
Abhijit left for the Biju Patnaik International Airport from the Capital Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment since Sunday. The Odisha government on December 4 had accepted the appeal of Abhijit and decided not to accord sanction of his prosecution.
The decision was made following Mitra's prayer to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to consider withholding sanction to prosecute him in certain criminal cases pending against him. "He (Mitra) has appealed to the chief minister to accept his apology and contrition in having wounded the sentiments of people of Odisha without intention," a home department official had said.
Mitra had further mentioned in his representation that in consideration of his unconditional apology in having hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha "unintentionally without malice and mal-intent", the Odisha Assembly pardoned him on November 17.
Abhijit was admitted to the Capital Hospital here on December 2 after he complained of acute stomach ache. Abhijit's advocate Nikhil Mehera said that his client would proceed to Chennai to meet his mother.
Mitra was arrested on October 23 after he posted the controversial video on his Twitter handle.
In a petition to the state government, he apologised for the video saying he didn't intend to hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha.
The Privilege Committee of Odisha Assembly also pardoned him on November 16 after he tendered an unconditional apology for having hurt the sentiments of people of Odisha unintentionally.