With reports of the government’s second ‘attempt’ to replace the incumbent DGP of Nagaland Rupin Sharma, doing the rounds in the state, civil societies and citizens of the state are prepared to stage protests against the ‘decision’ of the Neiphiu Rio led PDA government.
Though, no official notification has been issued yet in this regard, reports, however, have reached every nook and corner of Nagaland, on the ‘attempt’ of the state government to replace the present DGP, known for his honesty and competency. When contacted, Nagaland DGP, Rupin Sharma said “I haven’t received any official transfer order. I have only heard about this from several quarters. I have also heard reports of senior IPS officer, Mr TJ Longkumer being approached for the post, but how far the report is true, this I cannot say.”
It was reported that the government is contemplating to appoint 1991 batch IPS officer, TJ Longkumer as the DGP of Nagaland. Longkumer is the first non-CRPF officer in India to receive the CRPF award in 2012 and also a recipient of the President’s Police medal. Interestingly, in 2010, Longkumer was caught in a controversial situation after he, along with another IPS officer – Amresh Mishra, were alleged to be responsible for the lapses in connection with the Maoist massacre of CRPF personnel in Dhantewada in Chhattisgarh.
It may be reminded that on March, when the letter recommending change of guard in the police department was circulated on social media, there was hue and cry over the alleged attempt of the state government to replace an honest police officer and appoint someone who would play by their rules. As the second wave of the news of Sharma’s transfer spread across the length and breadth of Nagaland since last night on social media, it didn’t take long for a virtual storm to kick in. Going by these reports, various social organisations and forums held several meetings on Friday to express their solidarity and also to discuss on the issue.
Rupin Sharma took over as the DGP of Nagaland in November 2017. Sharma has served the state’s police department for 26 years in different capacities. Reacting to these reports, intellectuals and like-minded citizens of Nagaland including ACAUT member, Simon Kielo met on Friday to express their solidarity. “As concern citizens of the state, we request the government to change its stance and retain the honest and capable DGP, Rupin Sharma,” Kielo told TNT-The Northeast Today .
Kielo also informed that an idea to start a signature campaign, demanding the retention of Rupin Sharma, was also mooted during the meeting. “We will also consider writing a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs and even to the President, if we have to, to retain Mr Sharma,” said the ACAUT leader. Meanwhile, the Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) had on June 3 shot a letter to the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh seeking retention of Rupin Sharma as the DGP of Nagaland for the ‘greater interest of good governance and rule of law in the state’.
According to the letter, the NPRAAF apprised the Union Home Minister of the current stance of the people against the proposed move of the government to replace Rupin Sharma. “Sharma is one of the most competent police officers the state has seen in many years. He has rendered immaculate service to the state in various capacities even in the darkest hour,” read the letter.
Furthermore, the NPRAAF cautioned the Home Ministry that changing the incumbent DGP at this juncture is not advisable, “as it will only encourage politicians to go free spree of corruption besides malfunction of law and order in the state.” A similar letter was also sent by the organisation to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on June 8.
When contacted, Chief Advisor of NPRAAF, Dr Roland Lotha told TNT-The Northeast Today on Friday that till date, they have not received any response either from the MHA or the PMO. “Earlier this year, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Secretary had sent a letter to the MHA stating that Rupin Sharma is not competent enough to be the DGP of Nagaland, which is totally wrong,” Dr Lotha said.
Reacting to reports on the Government’s intention to appoint IPS TJ Longkumer as DGP in Rupin’s stead, Dr Lotha said “In 2010, Longkumer was accused of being involved in some controversy. So an officer with a doubtful and questionable integrity cannot be appointed as the DGP, to take care of the law and order situation in the state. We need honest officers like Rupin Sharma.” Meanwhile, there have been talks of organising a signature campaign and staging dharna infront of the Police Headquarter in Kohima on Monday to protest against the government’s proposed move.
Earlier, on March 24 and 28, the Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and Deputy Chief Minister, Y Patton had sent a letter to the MHA seeking appointment of a new DGP stating the present DGP lacks seniority and requisite experience to be the state police chief. Meanwhile, this scribe tried to contact the Nagaland Home Minister and CMO office several times to get their view on the issue, but to no avail.
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