Right-wing commentator Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was on Thursday arrested for hurting the religious sentiments of Odiya people during his recent visit to Odisha, reported several news outlets.
According to media reports, Mitra had shot a video of himself inside the Konark temple while poking fun at the the deities’ idols engraved on the walls of the temple. He had called it a ‘monumental conspiracy against the Hindu Civilisation’ by Muslims. He had said that this was not a temple but a hu**le, where people humped each other.
Odisha 9: my special message to you from the Konark temple expressing my utter disgust at this monumental conspiracy against the Hindu Civilisation pic.twitter.com/wJeqZPHRDk
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) September 16, 2018
Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin Police reportedly detained him on Thursday morning and the controversial man soon be taken to Odisha, where hundreds of thousands of people have been demanding for his arrest and also action against the expelled BJD MP Jay Panda. He was later granted bail.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) September 20, 2018
It was Panda, who had flown Mitra and another right-wing journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh in his helicopter around Odisha.
Iyer-Mitra’s reported arrest comes just hours after Janta Ka Reporter through his adventures involving two journalists from Delhi. exclusively published the analysis by famous academic Ashok Swain, who wrote an incisive piece to conclude Panda may have committed a political suicide
Reacting to the development, Swain tweeted, “I din’t like what Abhijit Iyer-Mitra said, but I respect his right to say whatever he has said and he wants to say. It is also sheer stupidity to arrest him – A Moron becomes a Martyr!”
Aarti Tikoo Singh tweeted, “So Odisha Police has arrested my friend
@Iyervval for his satirical humor because it “hurt religious sentiments”. This is the other side of Indian democracy where religious sentiment supersedes and prevails over all other fundamental rights. We remain stuck in Middle Ages. Shame.”
Many critics of the Odisha government had taken to Twitter to express their outrage on Twitter.