Bhubaneswar: On the day after the arrest of Abhijit Iyer Mitra for his derogatory remarks on the Konark Sun Temple, an online petition to free him has started on change.org.
The petition, which has been started by Abhijit‘s friend and senior journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh, has gained the support of a number of known media people, including Rajdeep Sardesai and Chitra Subramaniam, among 30 others.
The petition appeals against censorship and misuse of ‘archaic laws’ such as IPC 295A and 153A that violate the rights of freedom of speech. According to Aarti Tikoo, Abhijit had posted the ‘comic’ video, which ‘alluded to the sexual nature of the sculptures’ was ‘to satirize the glaring contradictions of human societies’.
She also mentioned that Abhijit was arrested because ‘he cracked a joke’.
The Supreme Court on October 4 had denied him relief from arrest, while refusing to extend his bail plea.
During the hearing when Abhijit’s counsel argued about threat to his life, the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said, “If your life is in danger then what better place to stay than jail? Your life will be secure.”
The Bench further said that his comment incite religious feelings. “How are you entitled to bail?” it added.
Meanwhile, the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here on Wednesday allowed Konark Police to take the research scholar on four-day remand. Abhijit was arrested on Tuesday after appearing before the House Committee of the State Assembly.
He was lodged in Jharpada Jail here after the court rejected his bail plea and sent him to 14-day judicial custody last night.