Supreme Court rejects Abhijit Iyer’s bail plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) today rejected the bail plea of journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra in connection with a case filed against him for making objectionable remarks about Odisha and Konark Sun Temple.

Declining to provide relief from arrest, the apex court said as the scribe has hurt religious sentiments of people, bail cannot be granted to him, said sources.

“I respect the Supreme Court order. I won’t file a review petition in the case. Now it’s the police to take a decision whether to arrest my client or not. My client will join the investigation,” said Nikhil Mehra, counsel of Abhijeet Iyer.

Iyer was arrested by the Odisha Police with the help of Delhi Police on September 20 on the charges of hurting religious sentiments of the people.

A Delhi court had later granted him bail against a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and directed him to cooperate in the probe by Konark Police.

Iyer was criticised for a tweet posted on November 16, 2017 in which he wrote: “Odisha was discovered by Bengali explorers, who called it “OriShala!!! And it was named Orissa”.

He also wrote that Jagannath Temple was built by the Gangas, who were disgraced Pallava Tamil retainers. “…no such thing as Orissa, just the wild southern provinces of undivided Bengal,” Iyer had tweeted.

Such remarks triggered widespread resentment in Odisha. Later, Odisha speaker had constituted a House Committee led by leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra to probe the matter. The House Committee formed by the Odisha Assembly has also issued notice to Abhijit Iyer asking him to appear before the panel members on October 11.