Odisha Pardons Abhijit

The Odisha Government Tuesday pardoned Abhijit Iyer Mitra.

The State Government decided not to pursue cases registered against Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who has been in Jharpada jail for around 40 days for making derogatory remarks against the state’s history and culture.
 “Taking into account his representation, the Government have decided not to accord sanction of prosecution in cases where prosecution has been sought for and also decided to take steps to withdraw other cases pending against him by following laid-down procedures,” a press release issued by the Home Department said.
Abhijit was arrested on October 23 after two FIRs – one each in Konark and Bhubaneshwar – were filed against him for his derogatory video and comments on the Konark Sun Temple in Twitter on September 16.
The police invoked 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 against him.
The Home Department said it decided to pardon Abhijit in view of his appeal ‘to accept his apology and contrition’ in having wounded the sentiments of people of Odisha without intention.
Abhijit had earlier made petitions addressed to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi begging excuse.

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