SC denies relief from arrest to a journalist for ‘inciting religious feelings’, says jail safest place for him

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In a video posted on Twitter on September 16, Iyer-Mitra had mocked the Konark Temple over the erotic sculptures at the temple complex.

The Hush Post: The Supreme Court on Thursday denied protection from arrest to a journalist for ‘inciting religious feelings’.  Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was briefly arrested in New Delhi last month for his comments on Konark Sun Temple in Odisha. He was later released on a bail surety of Rs. 1 Lakh by a Delhi court but was directed to join the investigation in Odisha by September 28.

In a video posted on Twitter on September 16, Iyer-Mitra had mocked the Konark Temple over the erotic sculptures at the temple complex.  He had tweeted, “Can this be a holy place? Not at all. This is a conspiracy against Hindus by Muslims who want to keep us down. Jai Sriram. In our new Ram temple, such obscene sculptures will not be there.”

Taking note of his comments, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by newly-appointed CJI Ranajn Gogoi, said, “Your (journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra) comments incite religious feelings. How are you entitled for bail?”

Scroll.in reported that Iyer-Mitra’s counsel submitted that his client’s life was in danger, to which the Supreme Court said that prison would safest place for him. “if your life is in danger, then what better place to stay than jail? Your life will be secure,” Times of India quoted the court.

In another tweet Iyer-Mitra had clarified that what he commented was a joke. “Jokes aside this temple is just mindblowing,” he said, adding, “The sculptures are exquisite & it has a great sense of symmetry & gravitas.”

Iyer-Mitra’s comments had caused an uproar in the Odisha Assembly with a House Committee asking him to appear before it on October 11.

His comments had garnered heavy backlash in the Odisha Assembly. A committee formed by the Odisha Assembly has asked him to appear before it on October 11.

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