Abhijit Iyer’s arrest not justified: Amnesty India

Bhubaneswar: Non-government organisation, Amnesty India has come out in support of journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, arrested over derogatory remarks on the Konark Sun Temple and comments against Odisha MLAs.

In a tweet, the NGO said that Odisha govt must release Mitra as a criminal case for such conduct is not justified.

“The Odisha govt must release journalist, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra who was arrested for making a sarcastic comments on two temples in Odisha. The right to #freedomofexpression extends to speech that may be considered offensive by some. A criminal case for such conduct is not justified,” Amnesty India tweeted.

On November 3, Mitra had deposed before the House Committee of the Odisha Assembly for the third time and submitted an affidavit over his alleged remarks against legislators. Iyer submitted the affidavit in presence of the House Committee Chairman Narasingha Mishra and member Sanjay Das Burma at the Odisha Assembly building. Later, the panel’s chairman said that the House Committee will review the affidavit and if need arises, Iyer-Mitra will be asked to re-appear.

On October 23, Iyer-Mitra had tendered an unconditional apology for his derogatory remarks on the Konark Sun Temple and comments on MLAs.

As per the earlier directive of the Odisha Assembly, Iyer-Mitra’s affidavit will be submitted on the first day of the ensuing session of the House.