A case was filed against former Tripura health minister Sudip Roy Barman for visiting a COVID Care Centre here allegedly without authorisation, police said on Tuesday.
Wearing a PPE kit, the BJP MLA visited the COVID Care Centre set up at the Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel on Sunday and distributed fruits among the patients.
A suo motu case was filed against Barman under the Epidemic Diseases Act at the Capital Complex police station for visiting the COVID Care Centre without permission, a police officer said. "We are investigating the matter," he added.
Following the visit, the administration also asked Barman, a BJP MLA who was removed as health minister in May last year, to go on quarantine but he refused, calling it a "conspiracy" to get him exposed to coronavirus.
West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Namdeo Mahatme served a memo to Barman on Monday, stating that he entered the COVID Care Centre "unauthorisedly" and exposed himself to COVID-19 patients there.
He put himself at a high risk of developing the disease and due to this, he would be put in institutional quarantine for seven days, followed by seven days of home quarantine, the memo said.
In his reply, Barman said that he feels the district magistrate wrote the memo "under duress" and claimed some group with vested interest hatched a conspiracy to get him exposed to coronavirus, putting his life at risk by quarantining him with other COVID-19 patients.
"You have asked me to remain in institutional quarantine at the RSTI Quarantine Centre AD Nagar, though I have not been tested or having any symptoms and not being advised by medical officer," he said.
"It seems some vested interested persons are trying to put me intentionally in the RSTI Quarantine Centre so that I can easily come in contact with others who have been tested positive, which would be hazardous to my health," he added.
Stating that the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Sipahijala are in home quarantine after testing positive, he asked whether the administration wants him to get infected by staying with COVID-19 patients in the quarantine centre.
The district magistrate said that the matter was referred to him by the Health Department and he would send Barman's letter back to the department.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Barman said his visit was not unauthorised as prior information was given about it to the Director of Health Services and Medical Superintendent of Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) Hospital, the apex dedicated COVID facility.
He said he visited the centre after seeing on social media a clip of a pregnant COVID-19 patient complaining about lack of doctors and the facility being unhygienic.
Barman said that he visited the centre only after wearing a full-body PPE kit.