Former minister of state Sadabhau Khot has called allegations of Jayant Patil having called police officers to remove the home quarantine of first four coronavirus positive patients of Islampur as unfounded. Speaking to The Indian Express from Islampur, Khot said such allegations are “baseless and untrue”.
Khot, who is an MLC and was a minister in former Devendra Fadnavis-led government, said the family in question had traveled to Islampur from New Delhi on a domestic flight on March 15. “The family had traveled to Delhi on March 13 and then came to Islampur. Back then, passengers from Saudi Arabia or Dubai were not stamped or asked to be quarantined as those countries were not COVID-19 hotspots,” he said.
He added that the question of those four being stamped or not did not arise.
The district authorities were given the list of people who had traveled from Dubai and Saudi Arabia on March 16 and the four people were traced on March 18 when they were stamped. Follow LIVE Coronavirus Latest Updates
Located in the Walva taluka of Sangli district, Islampur has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot after 24 members of the same family tested positive. The family had traveled from Saudi Arabia to Islampur. Instead of being quarantined, the family that owns four shops had met multiple people and participated in a public feast held in the local mosque. Shiv Sena corporator Anandrao Pawar had filed an FIR against the four members of the family for not adhering to the norms of home quarantine. NCP’s strong man and state minister Jayant Patil had come under criticism with anonymous Twitter handles accusing him of calling officers at the airport and police to prevent the family from being stamped for quarantine. Patil had taken to the social media to deny the allegations.
Khot said the airports are under the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and manned by the central security forces, which report to the Union home minister. “To claim a state minister had called and waived of stamping is ridiculous. Those officers do not take instructions from the state minister,” he said, adding, “People who are leveling such allegations are indulging in very low level of politics at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented health emergency.”
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