Abhijit Iyer-Mitra Released a Day After Orissa HC Grants Bail
Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was released on Thursday, 6 December, after being in jail for over 50 days for a video he posted, criticising Odisha, Lord Jagannath, Konark temple and Odisha lawmakers.
The journalist, who was arrested on 23 October in Bhubaneswar and was lodged at Jharpada jail, was hospitalised on Sunday, 2 December after complaining of illness. On his release, Mitra refrained from making any comments.
He also said that “whatever charge sheet is filed, all of them had bailable offences and one application has been filed for their withdrawal.”
Mitra had been undergoing treatment in the surgery department for an ailment, the director of Capital Hospital Chandrika Prasad Das had said earlier.
The state government on Tuesday, 4 December, issued a statement saying, “... decided not to accord sanction of prosecution in cases where prosecution has been sought for and also decided to take steps to withdraw other cases pending against him by following laid-down procedures.”
In the video posted on Iyer-Mitra’s Twitter handle, he allegedly made ‘derogatory comments’ on the Sun temple in Odisha. Earlier this week, he had written a writ petition to the Chief Secretary of Odisha had asked for his release.
Mitra shot the video during his visit to the temple with former parliamentarian and his friend, Baijayant Panda. Panda took Mitra and journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh on a chopper ride over the Sun Temple, the Puri Jagannath Temple and the Chilika Lake, drawing criticism from across the political spectrum.