Outrage as Nagaland's 'upright' top cop removed

The 1992 batch IPS officer Rupin Sharma was instrumental in the arrest of gangster Abu Salem in Portugal.

Published: 20th June 2018 08:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2018 08:58 PM   |  A+A-

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio. File | PTI

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Ignoring the voices of locals, Nagaland's People's Democratic Alliance government on Wednesday removed the state's Director General of Police (DGP), Rupin Sharma. The 1992 batch IPS officer Sharma, who was instrumental in the arrest of gangster Abu Salem in Portugal, was said to be targeted for refusing to toe the lines of some politicians. He was widely known for his uncompromising stand against corruption.

An order issued by Nagaland's Home Commissioner, R Ramakrishnan, read: "In the interest of the public service, the Governor of Nagaland is pleased to order Shri Renchamo Kikon, Additional DGP (law and order) to take over the current charge of DGP in addition to his normal duties with immediate effect.

"Rupin Sharma is kept on compulsory wait and directed to hand over the charge to Renchamo Kikon today itself". Explaining the term compulsory wait, the state's Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said Sharma had not been given any posting yet. Sharma's ouster came a day after a signature campaign was organised in parts of the state by locals demanding his retention.

As news of his removal spread on Wednesday, users on the social media ventilated their ire against the Neiphiu Rio government for targeting an "upright" IPS officer, who was innovative and reformed the police department to a large extent.

Nagaland's apex social organisation, Naga Hoho, said the government should have listened to the voices of the people. "When people wanted his continuance as the DGP, it was the duty of the state government to look into the demand with all seriousness. After he took over as DGP, we saw a lot of changes. Nobody can deny it.The concept of a democratic government is to work for people's welfare. That is the basic objective. Sadly, now-a-days, we hardly find any government that is concerned over people's welfare," Naga Hoho president, Chuba Ozukum, told The New Indian Express.

In April, CM Neiphiu Rio and his deputy Y Patton had written to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking Sharma's removal. Among factors highlighted was his 'limited experience' in serving in the state. Rio and Patton had, in fact, recommended the name of Lungriading, who is an IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

However, Sharma served the Nagaland Police in various capacities, starting from sub-divisional police officer to DG (prisons) before his appointment as the DGP last year. He told TNIE on Wednesday that he had handed over the charge of DGP to Kikon. "I would continue to discharge my duties as enshrined in the Constitution with no prejudice or favour to anyone," he said.

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