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Tripura: Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC team ‘under house arrest’ amid survey of public perception on governance

Speaking to indianexpress.com, a senior official from the CMO informed that the I-PAC team was asked to stay indoors at their hotel since they are a large group comprising 23 people and the government wants to avoid any unwanted spread of Covid-19.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: July 26, 2021 9:30:27 pm
Political strategist Prashant Kishor (Express file photo)

A team of 23 members of Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) was asked by the state government to stay put inside a city-based private hotel during their visit to Tripura, essentially putting them under house arrest.

The team, which is learnt to have visited several places across Tripura for a survey on assessing public experience of governance in the last 4-5 days, had been put up at a private hotel in Agartala.

A team of police and health officials visited the hotel Monday morning and questioned them about their purpose of visit and stay. It also enquired about their Covid-19 RT-PCR test reports and asked them to stay indoors till health authorities give the necessary clearance.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, a senior official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) informed that the I-PAC team was asked to stay indoors at their hotel since they are a large group comprising 23 people and the government wants to avoid any unwanted spread of Covid-19.

East Agartala Police Station in-charge Inspector Saroj Bhattacharjee, while denying reports of detaining the visiting team members, said they were asked to stay indoors at their hotel till the health authorities were satisfied with their COVID test reports and provided them necessary clearance.

Reacting on the incident, Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted that the I-PAC employees were kept under house arrest since the BJP is “rattled” by TMC’s victory in Bengal.

“The fear in @BJP4Tripura before even @AITCofficial stepped into the land, is more than evident! They are so rattled by our victory in #Bengal that they’ve now kept 23 IPAC employees under house arrest. Democracy in this nation dies a thousand deaths under BJP’s misrule!” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, Tripura Trinamool Congress president Ashish Lal Singh has condemned the obstruction of movement of the I-PAC team and claimed that the BJP-led state government has put them under virtual “house arrest” since the government is scared of the survey results.

“I am shocked and ashamed as a citizen of Tripura. This is not our culture. BJP is trying to rape the democracy and culture of Tripura. The state government is scared that their misrule in Tripura will get exposed if the I-PAC team completes their survey. That’s why they put them under a virtual house arrest”, Singh said. He added that the team has already collected sufficient details from their tours in different parts of the state and are convinced that given an alternative, the people don’t want the BJP to stay in power.

West Tripura Police Superintendent Manik Das later said the I-PAC team was questioned at their hotel as part of a “routine police checkup”.

All the visiting team members on Monday underwent RT-PCR tests, the reports of which are awaited. A health official, who didn’t want to be quoted, said the team’s movement might cause the spread of Covid-19. Based on their reports, they will be allowed to move.

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