Tripura Chief Minister Biplob Dev Said
Reacting to the i-Pak controversy, Tripura Chief Minister Biplob Dev on Thursday said he believed in the motto of Atithi Devo Bhava equivalent to the God of guests but the police did not agree to the police action. We believe in guest Devo. I respect Mamata Banerjee.
He is older than me, everyone is welcome. We do not interfere in police work. The police did their job. It is a border state and August 15 is coming, so they have to see who is coming (to the state), the chief minister said. An IPAC team of two nights was under house arrest for more than an hour until Tuesday night, after police were told to stay inside the hotel. All members of the team were forced to undergo RT-PCR testing and were released late Tuesday night after the report came negative.
The team was also given the notice to appear at the police station on August 1 and 2. The i-Pak team was setting up camp in the state to see if there was an opportunity to expand the Trinamool Congress in the state. TMC members, including two ministers and a Member of Parliament from Tripura, have arrived to protest against the I-Pak house arrest.
The TMC today claimed that eight people had been arrested for taking part in the protests. The i-Pack team claimed some of those arrested had been granted bail. Earlier, TMC minister Bratya Basu, who had come to Tripura to protest the house arrest, strongly condemned the state government, calling the incident a sign of fascism, and said it was completely intolerable.
The i-Pak controversy seems to be snowballing in Tripura, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wants to widen the base in view of the huge Bengali-speaking population there. The i-pack row has put the TMC in direct conflict with the BJP government in the state, where elections are being held in 2023.