Row In Nagaland As Government Tries To Change Top Cop Known For "Honesty"

Rupin Sharma - the youngest serving head of any state police force in the country - was appointed as Nagaland top cop in November last year.

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Row In Nagaland As Government Tries To Change Top Cop Known For 'Honesty'

DGP Rupin Sharma, 50, is an IPS officer of the Nagaland cadre.

Guwahati:  In a major development in Nagaland, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) government is at loggerheads with civil society groups and the opposition party - the Naga People's Front (NPF). The matter of contention here is a letter written by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his deputy Y Patton to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking removal of DGP Rupin Sharma.

Rupin Sharma - known to be an upright officer and the youngest serving head of any state police force in the country - was appointed as the Nagaland top after the tenure of L. Doungel as DGP ended in November last year. Mr Doungel is an IPS officer of the West Bengal cadre while DGP Sharma is an IPS officer of Nagaland cadre.

In the letter dated March 24 - which was leaked this week - the chief minister mentioned that Mr Sharma's posting was a "stop-gap arrangement" as the assembly elections were due this year.

"In order to become a DGP in other states, one has to complete 30 years of service, but in the case of Nagaland, up to 28 years (of experience) have been considered in the past," the letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs or the MHA read.
rupin sharma mha letter

The state government sent the letter on March 24.

"Mr Sharma has just 26 years of experience and his experience of serving in the state is very limited, with just about one year as SP of Peren district," the letter mentioned. The state government has recommended the name of Lungriading from Assam-Meghalaya cadre for the top cop post.

However, the opposition party has alleged that DGP Sharma - being an upright officer - has been refusing to make back door appointments in the police department, which the ruling government did not like. The NPF has pointed fingers at the deputy chief minister, who is also Nagaland's home minister.

"Patton has a track record of flouting all norms and procedures to get his candidates appointed or allotted contract and supply works. His wayward behavior whilst running the administration was a major source of embarrassment to the last ministry and he was dropped from the ministry, albeit at the fag- end of the tenure, and severely reprimanded," a statement from the NPF read.

To resist the state government's move to change the DGP, the civil society groups in Nagaland have also started an online signature campaign. Mr Sharma has been extremely popular among locals due the reforms he brought last year to the prisons in Nagaland while he was posted as DG (Prisons).
 

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