The Odisha High Court on Wednesday granted bail to defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra more than a month after after he was arrested for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the people of the state, ANI reported.
The court’s order came a day after the state government accepted his plea and decided not to grant sanction to the police to prosecute him. The government also said it will withdraw the other cases filed against Iyer-Mitra.
Iyer-Mitra has been in a Bhubaneswar jail since October 24 in connection with a case filed against his satirical tweets about the Jagannath temple in 2017. Last week, he was taken to hospital purportedly after complaining of stomach ache.
Iyer-Mitra was first arrested in September for alleged 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, claiming 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 joked that the Jagannath idol at a temple in Puri was actually from Kolkata and had been stolen “by evil Kalinga demon kings”.
The Odisha Assembly on November 17 passed a motion to pardon Iyer-Mitra and dropped charges of breach of privilege against him for his comments on the Sun Temple.