Abhijit arrested for his derogatory remarks, not for ‘Rasgolla’: Odisha Police

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police on Saturday dismissed the media reports about the arrest of Abhijit Iyer Mitra in connection with his comments on Rasogalla on Twitter, saying such reports are “false and mischievous”.

“His (Abhijit Iyer Mitra) frivolous comment on Rasogalla is not at a ground for legal action against him,” said a release issued by Odisha Police.

The State Police also stated the reasons for the arrest of Delhi based defence analyst, who has been in judicial custody since Tuesday.

“Iyre-Mitra has been arrested on FIRs registered on his derogatory, mischievous and objectionable comments on art and culture of  Odisha, Lord Jagganath and Odia community as a whole,”  the release said adding  that Iyre-Mitra  has also made objectionable comments hurting  sentiments of different religious communities.

The Odisha Police also reproduced some derogatory comments made by Iyer-Mitra. They 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.”͘

In addition, Mitra’s other remarks in his Twitter handle include 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, the release mentioned.

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, the release said adding 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 release said.

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), it added.

“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 claimed.

It also pointed out 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 said.

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