Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra on Saturday submitted an affidavit to an Odisha Assembly committee on his alleged remarks about the state that purportedly amounted to breach of the legislators’ privilege, PTI reported. Iyer-Mitra had appeared before the panel on Friday but had sought a day’s time to submit the affidavit.
“The panel will review Abhijit Iyer-Mitra’s statements and the affidavit,” said the committee’s Chairperson Narasingha Mishra. “If required, he will be asked to depose again.” Mishra, who is also the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly,
said the panel would submit its report to Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat in the next Assembly session.
On October 24, Iyer-Mitra apologised to the house committee for his comments on the Sun Temple in Konark that he had made in a video in September. “I beg apology because of my stupidity,” Mishra had then quoted him as saying.
However, the same day, the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police arrested him in connection with a criminal case filed for tweeting last year that the idol of Jagannath in a temple in Puri was actually from Kolkata and had been stolen “by evil Kalinga demon kings”.
After he was first arrested in September, a Delhi court granted Iyer-Mitra bail after he furnished a surety of Rs 1 lakh. The court also ordered him to join the police investigation but he did not, alleging a threat to his life. Iyer-Mitra then moved the Supreme Court for protection from arrest. On October 4, the top court refused to grant him bail, saying jail was the “safest place” for him.