Iyer-Mitra was arrested on October 23 after two FIRs – one each in Konark and Bhubaneshwar – were filed against him for an allegedly sarcastic video and comment on the Konark Sun Temple that he posted on Twitter on September 16
Bhubaneshwar: The ordeal for defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra is far from over. On Tuesday, he was informed that his November 5 bail application was rejected by a Camp Court of a Sessions Judge inside Bhubaneshwar’s Jharpada Jail.
Iyer-Mitra has been arrested on October 23 for an alleged sarcastic remark on the Sun Temple in Konark - under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A and 298 (criminalising acts or words uttered intended to outrage or wound the religious feelings of any individual or class), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
This was the second bail application of Iyer-Mitra that was rejected — the first one earlier this month by a Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate’s Camp Court in the same jail. He has been filing for bail in the Camp Courts of the jail because of a lawyer’s strike that has paralysed Odisha’s judicial machinery since August 28.
His lawyer Nikhil Mehra has told newspapers that on September 20 Iyer-Mitra was called to the Nizamuddin Police station in Delhi on the pretext of taking a statement for another case involving former Biju Janata Dal leader Baijayant Panda.
“Once he reached the police station, the Odisha Police tried to arrest him, but was given protection by a district court in Delhi for a surety of Rs 1 lakh and asking him to join the investigation by September 28,” he said.
Mehra said Panda was also named in the FIR filed in Konark against Iyer-Mitra.
To prevent his arrest, Iyer-Mitra’s lawyers moved the Supreme Court on September 27 and protection was extended till October 5 by a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
He was arrested by the police soon after.
Iyer-Mitra works with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies as a senior research fellow. He was formerly with the Observer Research Foundation.
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Last Updated Nov 14, 2018, 1:25 PM IST