Denying reports of 23 members of poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s IPAC (Indian Political Action Committee) allegedly being stopped from leaving their hotel in Agartala, Tripura police on Monday said that they are under ‘quarantine’, not house arrest. Officials added that they were waiting for the results of the IPAC workers' Covid RTPCR test following which the latter will be released.
The IPAC team members have been reportedly held under 'house arrest' at their hotel Woodland Park since late Sunday night. The hotel is situated in Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Dev’s Banamalipur constituency.
“So far there is no information about any house arrest. Yesterday evening we got information that 20 to 22 people from various parts of the country were staying in Woodland Park hotel. Accordingly, we inquired into the matter and found that some of them came on 20th and others on 21st,” said Manik Das, Superintendent of West Tripura district.
“During one week they visited various places of the state and met many people. So as a precautionary measure today morning we have arranged RTPCR tests and as per protocol they are staying in their present place of stay till receipt of their test results.”
When asked how long it will take for the results of the RTPCR test to arrive, the SP said, “We are expecting it to come out tomorrow or the day after.”
On the purpose of the IPAC team's visit to Tripura, the SP informed that they had come to the state for some research. However, the claim was still under verification.
Upon being asked when the IPAC team is likely to be released, Das said, “There is no question of release so far and further decision will be taken after receipt of Covid test results. Their release will be based on the outcome of the inquiry”
The Tripura police have been camping at the hotel lobby and outside its premises since morning and are not allowing any of the members of the IPAC team to leave the premises.
The IPAC team was in Agartala to assess the political situation and potential support base for the Trinamool Congress. Election in the BJP-IPFT ruled state is due in 2023.