Nagaland People Come On Streets, Demand To "Retain People's DGP", Start Signature Campaign
On Monday, many civil society groups and Nagaland Police personnel held a demonstration outside the police station and started a signature campaign in Kohima to prevent the state government from removing their acting Director Of Police, Rupin Sharma from his post. According to The Indian Express, the demonstrators came together on streets with banner and play-cards written: “Retain people’s DGP”.
Rupin Sharma, a 1992 batch Nagaland-cadre IPS officer, was appointed as the Nagaland DGP in November 2017. The officer has gained a lot of public support since then. He has served the state for more than 26 years and is also credited with getting positive reforms within the police department of the state.
The issue of Sharma’s removal from the post comes on the heels of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, deputy CM Y Patton and chief secretary Temjen Toy writing letters to home minister Rajnath Singh in March seeking Sharma’s replacement.
According to the reports, Chief secretary Toy also wrote in his letter that Sharma’s inexperience led to “challenges and issues in the conduct of the state assembly elections in February 2018”.
As soon as the news of the letter reached the public domain, the support for the DGP started to mobilise in the form of the signature campaign since June 18.
The massive signature drive which started in different parts of the states soon converted into the public demonstrations. One such rally was held in front of the police headquarters to press the Neiphiu Rio government from going ahead with the decision.
The local reports have claimed that more than 700 staff of Police Headquarter (PHQ) signed a petition for retention of Rupin Sharma as DGP Nagaland.
According to a PHQ staff, altogether 717 personnel and staff have signed the petition and that more petitions expected from other districts, which will be submitted to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“DGP Sharma had taken keen initiatives for the lower ranks officers, by introducing various welfare schemes,” said the PHQ officer while speaking to Nagaland Post.
The officer further added, Sharma had stopped the back-door appointments in the department and has even formalised recruitment process.
While speaking to The Indian Express, a senior officer said, Rupin is an honest officer adding that he has brought positive changes in the functioning of the police department also making him a public figure.
Pito Swu, the founder of Naga Mirror, which is reportedly one of the largest Facebook groups in the state, is collecting signatures in Kohima and Dimapur, through a Facebook campaign. “We will take a count of the signatures only after the drive ends. But I would say, we have roughly collected about 18,000 signatures so far,” said Swu to The Wire.
WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE NAGAS:To show solidarity and support for retantion of People's DGP Shri. RUPIN SHARMA IPS, DGP…
“We will hold a meeting in Dimapur and then decide the next course of action. We will submit the signatures to the state government and share it with local media,” he added.
The group has also written an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to intervene in the issue.
While talking about their competent officer Rupin, he said, “The issue about appointments given to as many as 2,078 people in the police department bypassing the standard procedures in the earlier regime had led to massive public outrage in the state last year. This must have certainly affected some interested parties to seek Sharma’s refusal. Also, it was because of Sharma’s efforts that the promotion procedures in the police force have been streamlined Those constables who would get a paltry Rs 2,500 earlier now get a salary of Rs 15,000, all thanks to his recommendations. With his efficient ways of administration, he was able to earn the trust of both his junior officials and the public.”
Reasons Cited For DGP’s Transfer
As per the reports, Nagaland CM allegedly said that Sharma’s work experience is inadequate for the post of DGP.
“Actually in order to become a DGP in other states, one has to have completed 30 years of service, but in the case of Nagaland, as a special category, up to 28 years have been considered during the past years,” said the letter from CM dated March 28 said.
While talking to the Indian Express, Chief Secretary said, “The appointment of the director general of police is the prerogative of the government. It is entirely up to the government to decide whom they want to appoint as the DGP.” When asked about his response on the Rupin Sharma’s transfer he said, “I am a government servant, and I will abide by government orders and service rules as may be applicable.”