In an unprecedented move, the Nagaland government has asked all government employees including senior officials to self-declare whether any of their family members or relatives are members of any of the underground armed rebel groups in the state. Issuing a circular, the state government has asked government servants to submit this declaration to the home department by August 7.
In an office memorandum dated July 7, chief secretary Temjen Toy stated, "As per instructions, all the administrative heads of departments and all the heads of departments are directed to obtain information in the self-declaration form attached herewith from all government servants under his/her department/office regarding family members and relatives in underground organisations and submit to the Home Department, political branch latest by 7th August, 2020 positively."
This order comes in a crucial time when the Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi has been on a loggerhead with the state government over law and order issues of the state.
The Nagaland government has earlier ruled out the proposal of Governor for vetting transfer and posting of officials engaged in law and order function.
Mr Ravi, in a letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, had stated the scenario in the state is grim and law and order has collapsed, the underground groups which are involved in the vexed Naga peace talks are running a 'parallel government'.
The state government however has officially denied the Governor's claim. Mr Ravi is also the interlocutor for the Naga peace talks.
On June 16, in a letter, Governor Ravi stated that the constitutionally established state government is being challenged on a day-to-day basis by the armed gangs who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation while instruments of law and order remain totally unresponsive.
"In such a backdrop I can no longer abstain from my Constitutional obligations for law and order in the state under Article 371 A(1 (b) of the constitution of India," Mr Ravi had written.
The Nagaland government in an earlier statement has pointed out that - the Central Government is in a ceasefire agreement with the Naga national political groups for more than two decades and the talks are reported to have concluded in October 2019 and accordingly the people are expecting an early political solution. The State Government feels that terming the organizations as "armed gangs" may not be in the interest of the peace process and may not be congenial to the achievement of lasting peace.