Amidst raging protest against his arrest by Odisha police over certain tweets by him, the Jharpara Jail camp court on Tuesday extended judicial custody of Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra by 14 more days, local media reported.
According to the reports, the camp court has reserved verdict on hearing the bail plea of Iyer Mitra.
Mitra was arrested by the Odisha police on October 24 over complaints that his tweets had hurt the sentiments of Odias. However, the move has been widely seen as an attempt by the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in the state to target expelled MP Baijayant Jay Panda. He was lodged in the Special Jail at Jharpada after the court rejected his bail plea and sent him to 14-day judicial custody on October 24.
Two FIRs were registered against Mitra at the Konark police station in Puri district and the Saheed Nagar police station in Khurda district under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He had also appeared before a House Committee of the Odisha Assembly and recorded his statement.
Meanwhile, the Delhi centre of Pen International, a worldwide association of writers, has issued a strong statement against his arrest.
"The shocking state action against Iyer-Mitra highlights once more and irrevocably how draconian the country’s colonial era anti-free speech laws are and how they may be misused at the leisure of anyone wishing to harass a writer in this country," it said.
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