Bhubanehwar: The Odisha Police on Saturday said Delhi-based defence analyst Abhijit Iyer Mitra was arrested not for his Twitter post on rasogolla, but for hurting the sentiments of the Odia people, among other reasons.

The Odisha Police's statement came in response to media reports that claimed that Mitra has been arrested for his year-old Twitter post about the origin of rasogolla.

"This is absolutely false and mischievous. His frivolous comment on rasogolla is not at all a ground for legal action against him," the statement said.

The Odisha Police said the accused analyst was arrested on the basis of FIRs lodged against his "derogatory, mischievous and objectionable comments" on art and culture of Odisha, Lord Jagannath and the Odia community as a whole.

They said two cases were registered against Mitra for his offensive comments.

A case was registered at Konark police station in Puri district on September 19 under various sections of IPC, Information Technology Act and Ancient Monument & Archaeological sites & Remains Act, it said.

One more complaint was registered at Saheed Nagar police station under various sections of IPC and IT Act.

"The malicious and objectionable comments by Mitra have outraged feelings of people of different religions (Sec 295-A IPC). The remarks have also promoted enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and are prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Sec 153-A IPC)," the statement said.

"Moreover, Iyer-Mitra uttered the words with a deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings (Sec 298 IPC)," it added.

Besides, Iyer-Mitra's malicious and defamatory comments have also hurt the religious feelings of devotees of Lord Jagannath.

"These comments are also detrimental and prejudicial to the peaceful and harmonious communal environment of the state. He further incited the public by posting objectionable word 'sala' for the entire Odia community," the police said.

In another tweet, the defence analyst said, “Lord Jagannath was a deity of Kolkata.”

Sources said the right-of-centre commentator has been booked under Sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 294, 295A, 153A, 500, 506 and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act. 

Iyer-Mitra’s bail petition was moved in the court and then turned down. His lawyer Nikhil Mehra said: “Police have not sought custody. He is cooperating fully with the investigations. We want o highlight that the tweets are almost a year old. How come they are reacting now? You don’t feel offended a year later. If you feel angry, you feel it immediately.”