A court in Tripura on Thursday granted unconditional bail to 23 employees of election strategist Prashant Kishor’s firm I-PAC, who were booked for allegedly violating of Covid-19 protocols and detained in a hotel in Agartala, East Mojo reported.
The employees of the firm had been conducting a survey in Tripura on behalf of the Trinamool Congress. The party has reportedly signed up I-PAC for chalking out its campaign strategy for the 2023 Assembly elections in Tripura.
On Monday, the police stopped the employees from leaving their hotel, claiming that they had flouted Covid-19 norms. But I-PAC team members said they had all the necessary Covid-related documents, NDTV reported.
Pijush Kanti Biswas, the lawyer representing I-PAC, told East Mojo that the police filed a case against the team members on Tuesday under the National Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Biswas said that since the case was filed on Tuesday, their detention at the hotel on Monday was illegal.
On Thursday, I-PAC employees approached the West Tripura District and Sessions Court for permanent bail. The assistant public prosecutor in the case told the court that certain conditions must be imposed on their bail, but Biswas opposed this.
“I submitted before the court that no condition can be imposed on the nature of the allegation made against them and the court agreed that no condition can be imposed,” Biswas was quoted as saying by East Mojo.
Trinamool Congres MP Derek O’ Brien went to Agartala after the team’s detention. He alleged that I-PAC members were detained after instructions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“I-PAC team members hired by Trinamool Congress came here on a professional assignment,” the MP said,” according to East Mojo. “What message did Amit Shah and Narendra Modi give from Delhi? They directed from Delhi to arrest the I-PAC team members. They are trying to impose the Gujarat model across India.”
“This is the only kind of antics they know – to threaten, to bully,” O’ Brien added, according to ANI. “We will take them head-on.”