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dJournalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, who was arrested in October for allegedly making derogatory remarks on Konark temple, was released from the jail on Thursday, a day after being granted bail by the Orissa High Court. 

The Delhi-based journalist and researcher was arrested on October 23 after he posted a video on his Twitter handle, allegedly criticising Odisha, Lord Jagannath, Konark temple and the Odisha lawmakers.

Two cases were registered against Mitra at Saheed Nagar Police Station in Bhubaneswar and Konark Police Station in Puri district.

He was arrested under various sections of IPC, Information Technology Act and Ancient Monument & Archaeological sites & Remains Act.

The Odisha government officials said on Tuesday that the Naveen Patnaik dispensation decided to grant pardon to Mitra for his alleged derogatory remarks against the state, its people and culture.

The decision came following Mitra’s prayer to Chief Minister Patnaik to consider withholding sanction to prosecute him in certain criminal cases pending against him, a home department official said.

“He (Mitra) has appealed to the chief minister to accept his apology and contrition in having wounded the sentiments of people of Odisha without intention,” the official said.

Mitra had further mentioned in his representation that in consideration of his unconditional apology in having hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha “unintentionally without malice and mal-intent”, the Odisha Assembly pardoned him on November 17.

Mitra, who had been lodged at the high-security Jharpada Special Jail in the state capital, was admitted to a hospital in Bhubaneswar after he complained of illness on December 2. 

(With PTI inputs) 

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