Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer Mitra was on Friday asked to appear before a committee, formed by the Odisha Assembly to look into his alleged derogatory remarks against the state, on October 11, reported PTI. “He is urged to remain present at 11 am on October 11 in room number 54 of the Odisha Assembly,” said Leader of Opposition and committee chairperson Narasingha Mishra.
The six-member committee on Friday recorded statements of the Odisha director general of police, director of intelligence and head of two media houses. “Taking into account evidences and statements of the witnesses... a prima facie has been made against Mitra,” said Mishra. “The committee will like to hear his version in regard to alleged derogatory remarks made against the state, Konark Temple, Jagannath Temple and the lawmakers.”
The committee was formed on September 20 and is expected to submit its inquiry report on the first day of the next session of the Odisha Assembly.
Mitra was arrested on September 20 in New Delhi, days after his comments on Twitter about the Konark Temple led to an uproar in the Odisha Assembly. He was later granted bail on a surety of Rs 1 lakh.
On September 16, Mitra had posted a video from the temple on Twitter. Pointing to the erotic sculptures of couples in various stages of intimacy at the temple complex, Mitra said: “Can this be a holy place? Not at all. This is a conspiracy against Hindus by Muslims who want to keep us down. Jai Sriram. In our new Ram temple, such obscene sculptures will not be there.”
Soon after, in another tweet he clarified that it was a joke. “Jokes aside this temple is just mindblowing,” he wrote. “The sculptures are exquisite & it has a great sense of symmetry & gravitas.”