Abhijit Iyer Mitra Not Arrested For Twitter Comments On Rasagolla: Odisha Police

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Cuttack: The Odisha Police has refuted reports in some sections of the media that research scholar Abhijit Iyer Mitra was arrested for his Twitter comments on Rasagolla.

Terming the reports as absolutely false and mischievous, a release issued from the state police headquarters said that the frivolous comments of Abhijit on rasagolla was not at all a ground for legal action against him.

“The fact remains that Abhijit has been arrested on FIRs registered for his derogatory, mischievous and objectionable remarks on art and culture of Odisha, Lord Jagannath and Odia community as a whole. He has also made objectionable comments hurting sentiments of different religious communities,” it added.

The release has also reproduced some offensive comments posted by Abhijit on Twitter, which are as follows.

“My Special Message to you from the Konark temple expressing my utter disgust at this monumental conspiracy against the Hindu civilization. This temple was a Humple͘. Here people are seen having sex͘ You see all these statues where the women, men and the animals are having sex. Can this temple be an auspicious place? Never. These statues are against the tradition of Hindu Community. It is the conspiracy of the Muslims who want to denigrate us. All I want to say is Jai Shree Ram. At least such statues will not be found in our new Ram temple.”͘

Besides, other comments which he had posted are Orissa itself was discovered by Bengali explorers; the remark Ori-Shala which was subsequently named as Orisha͘; 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 and Oriya propaganda – Jagannath was actually a deity of Kolkata and the idol stolen by evil Kalinga demon kings.

On such offensive comments, two cases have been registered against Abhijit in Puri and Bhubaneswar and another case No.92 U/s 153-A/295-A/ 298/34 IPC/66 I.T. Act/30 Ancient Monument & Archaeological Sites & Remains Act by the Konark Police on September 19.

On another complaint, Saheed Nagar Police in Bhubaneswar had registered a case No-432 under section 294/295(A)/500/153 (A) IPC & 67 IT Act against him on September 20.

The above malicious and objectionable comments by Abhijit have outraged feelings of people of different religions (Sec. 295-A IPC). The remarks have also promoted enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and are prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Sec. 153 (A). Moreover, Abhijit has uttered words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings (Sec. 298 IPC).

“The above mentioned malicious and defamatory comments have hurt the religious feelings of the people who believe in Lord Jagannath. These comments are also detrimental and prejudicial to the peaceful and harmonious communal environment of the state.  He has also incited the people by posting objectionable word ‘SALA’ for entire Odia community,” the release said.

It further said that Abhijit had moved the Supreme Court for legal protection. However, in view of his offensive comments the apex court in its order on October 4, 2018, had refused to give any protection to him. After hearing the pleas of Abhijit, the apex court observed that: “The applicant-petitioner, in our considered view, is not entitled to any further protection and his application seeking an extension of the time period of protection to the petitioner is accordingly rejected͘.”

It was but natural that after the above observations of the apex court, the law would take its course. Accordingly, Abhijit was arrested and produced before the court which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

Subsequently, on a petition by the Investigation Officer (IO), the learned court has granted two days police remand for his custodial examination.

“As it can be seen, there has been no issue regarding rasogalla anywhere from lodging FIR to the investigation to judicial custody of Abhijit. There has been a malicious campaign by some vested interest to malign the Odisha Police by propagating a false propaganda about a non-existent issue of rasogalla and thereby covering the actual deeds of the accused,” it maintained.