The Odisha Assembly Thursday adopted a privilege motion against Abhijit Iyer Mitra for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the state, Konark Temple, Jagannath Temple and the lawmakers, hours later he was arrested in New Delhi. Iyer Mitra, a friend of former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda, was however, granted interim bail by a court in Delhi.
The Odisha Police had arrested him on the charge of outraging religious sentiments of the people through his alleged derogatory remarks about the state, Konark Temple and Lord Jagannath on social media, a senior police officer said.
A two-member police team with the help of the Delhi police picked up Iyer Mitra from his residence in Nizamuddin police station area in the national capital, a senior police officer said.
"Iyer Mitra was produced at the Saket court which granted interim bail to him. He has been told to cooperate with the investigating officer and report at the Konark police station by September 28," IGP, Central Range, Soumendra Priyadarshi told PTI.
Iyer Mitra was arrested under section 295-A, (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (Deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) of the IPC and section 66 of the IT Act.
The police on Wednesday had registered a case against Iyer Mitra at Konark police station in Puri district and Saheed Nagar police station in Khurda district. A police team rushed to Delhi and arrested the accused from his residence.
Iyer Mitra had come to Odisha on September 15 allegedly at the invitation of Baijayant Panda. They were taken to Puri, Konark and Chilika in a chopper by Panda after which Iyer Mitra allegedly made some derogatory remarks in video posts on social media insulting the state, its culture and tradition, police said.
Iyer Mitra also allegedly insulted Odisha's legislators and presspersons by making unpalatable remarks, they said.
The Odisha Assembly Thursday adopted a privilege motion and constituted a committee to suggest action against Iyer Mitra for his alleged derogatory remarks.
The privilege motion was moved by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of the Congress and supported by the members of all the parties, including the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP.
The members cutting across party lines demanded stringent action against Mitra who took to social media to make a series of 'derogatory remarks' against the state, its people, culture and scribes.
The Speaker accepted the privilege motion and announced constitution of a committee to summon the accused.
The six-member committee to be headed by the LoP would also have senior BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra, Pramila Mallick, Arun Sahoo, Sanjay Dasburma and BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo as members.
The House committee will submit its probe report on the first day of the next session of the Odisha Assembly, the Speaker said.