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Controversial remarks on Odisha culture: Abhijit appears before House Committee

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Bhubaneswar: Journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, who landed in controversy and was arrested after making derogatory remarks against Odisha’s Konark Temple and Odia culture, appeared before a House Committee of the State Assembly today.

Amid tight security, Iyer Mitra deposed before the panel at hall no. 54 of the Assembly where members of the committee were present.

Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat had on September 20 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.

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.

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.