Bhubaneswar: Journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, who landed in controversy and was arrested after making derogatory remarks against Odisha’s Konark Temple and Odia culture, has apologised for his act and said that he will appear before the State Assembly on October 23.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Abhijit said, “I have realised that it’s probably best that when on a public platform, you keep quiet and be more reflective & mature about what you say. I’ll be standing in front of Odisha Assembly on 23rd October.”
Abhijit also apologised for his “nasty” comments against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the CM’s office and members of the Odisha Assembly saying that he was under “immense stress” at that time.
“Some of the nastier things I said about CM, the office, the Assembly, I was under immense stress & I would like to apologise for that unreservedly,” he said.
“I’ve always held Odisha in high regard. One of the reasons I visited was to look at history & contribution to Indian culture. I love Odisha. If you read my research writing, a lot of it is always praising Odisha. My Twitter account is more for fun, not professional,” he added.
Notably, on September 16, Abhijit had posted a video on Twitter in which he was seen criticising the Konark temple. Later, he went on making alleged defamatory remarks against Odia culture.
The Odisha assembly Speaker had on September 28 constituted a House Committee to probe the alleged derogatory remarks against the state, its culture and the lawmakers by the journalist.
The committee headed by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra had issued notice to Abhijit to appear personally before the panel on October 11 for breach of privilege as he also allegedly hurled abuses at Odisha legislators.
He, however, failed to appear following which another notice was sent to him for appearance before the committee on October 23.
Two FIRs have been registered against Abhijit at Konark and Saheed Nagar police stations under different sections of IPC. He was arrested on September 20 by Odisha Police in Delhi. Later, he was granted bail by a Delhi court till October 5 which directed him to cooperate in the probe. The Supreme Court on October 4 had, however, refused to grant him bail.