The Odisha Assembly on Saturday passed a motion to pardon defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra for alleged derogatory remarks against state legislators and the Konark Sun Temple, ANI reported. The Assembly also dropped charges of breach of privilege against him, PTI reported.
The pardon comes after his bail plea was rejected by a camp court at the Jharpada Jail in Bhubaneswar on November 8.
The Assembly granted pardon to Iyer-Mitra after accepting the recommendations of a House Committee that inquired into the allegations against him. The House Committee also recommended providing him books on Odisha’s history and culture.
Iyer-Mitra had earlier this month deposed before the House Committee and apologised. “I beg apology because of my stupidity,” he had said.
Iyer-Mitra was first arrested in September for allegedly derogatory comments on the Sun Temple in Konark. A Delhi court granted him 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.
Iyer-Mitra was again arrested on October 24 in connection with a criminal case filed for his tweets in 2017, in which he had said the Jagannath idol at a temple in Puri was actually from Kolkata and had been stolen “by evil Kalinga demon kings”.