Delhi Journalist Apologises For Remarks On Konark Temple, Joins Probe

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Abhijit Iyer-Mitra had allegedly made objectionable remarks about Lord Jagannath and "vulgar sculptures".

Bhubaneswar:

Security analyst and columnist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra has been taken into custody after he apologised to a committee of the Odisha Assembly for his derogatory remarks against the Sun Temple and Odia legislators. The journalist has been asked to come back on November 2 and submit an affidavit.

"Abhijit Iyer-Mitra admitted to the charges levelled against him and offered an unconditional apology for his 'stupidity'. He has been directed to depose before the committee and submit an affidavit in this regard," leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra said.

Mr Mishra added that the committee will examine his affidavit to decide whether to accept his apology or initiate action against him, if necessary.

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Mr Iyer-Mitra was earlier summoned to appear before the panel on October 11, which he skipped.

The journalist was arrested on September 20 in Delhi, after he posted a video on Twitter of his visit to the famous 13th century Sun temple in Konark. He had allegedly made objectionable remarks about Lord Jagannath and "vulgar sculptures".

The Odisha police told the court that he had "made unpalatable and irresponsible remarks about Konark Sun Temple with an intention to outrage and to hurt religious feelings which may create communal friction."

The journalist was let off on bail by a lower court and asked him to appear before the Odisha police by September 28. However, the journalist didn't join in the investigation alleging threat to life. He will now be arrested the Odisha police.

As the lawyers of the Orissa High Court were on strike last month, Mr Iyer-Mitra approached the top court for protection from arrest. The Supreme Court extended his temporary bail.

Bhubaneswar Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty said Abhijit Iyer-Mitra is in custody and will be questioned.

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