FIle photo: Prashant Kishor

The Tripura Police detained 23 members of Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) run by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, in a hotel in Agartala since July 25 night. Their movement was stopped as the police was ascertaining their documents and motive of their visit, said one on-duty police personnel in the hotel without further detail.

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News agency UNI reported citing hotel sources, that suddenly police stormed the hotel around 1 am on July 26 and forced the staff to open their access inside. “The police initially wanted to see the guest details from the hotel register and identified the I-PAC team. Allegedly, police called a few of the team members at night to come down for interaction but they declined,” the report said.

“A large number of armed police captured the hotel lobby at night and declared that I-PAC team cannot move out of the hotel until their investigation is over. The police continued to detain us till this afternoon and informed we can only be allowed to go to the airport. They told us none of our activities in Tripura are permitted,” an unnamed I-PAC team member was quoted as saying.

The Indian Express reported that a team of police and health officials visited the Agartala hotel on July 26 morning and questioned the I-PAC members 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.

The I-PAC team came to Tripura four days ago on a week-long visit for a baseline study of the perspective of Trinamool Congress and reportedly they have already interacted with influential political personalities including ruling BJP MLAs and opinion leaders in various parts of the state.

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The next Tripura legislative assembly elections are scheduled to be held in the first half of 2023.

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