By Pradeep Pareek
Dimapur(Nagaland), June 22: In a follow up step after the removal of Rupin Sharma as the Director General of Police (DGP), Nagaland Government is contemplating taking disciplinary action against him for allegedly orchestrating a campaign using State police personnel and public, with protests, to extend his tenure as the State police chief.
Sharma was finally removed from his post on Wednesday despite a campaign demanding his retention as State police chief.
State Government has kept Rupin Sharma, IPS on “compulsory wait” and appointed Additional Director General of Police (law & order), Renchamo P Kikon, IPS to take current charge of DGP Nagaland in addition to his normal duties with immediate effect.
Notification issued Wednesday by State Home Commissioner R Ramakrishnan directed Rupin Sharma, to hand over the charge to Renchamo P Kikon, “today itself.”
Sharma is an IPS officer of 1992 batch while Renchamo P Kikon is an IPS officer of 1998 batch.
Sources said Sharma, was kept on ‘compulsory wait’ and his junior was appointed to take charge as DGP as a stop gap arrangement before an acceptable DGP takes charge in order to circumvent any undesirable situation that will embarrass the Government following the ongoing public campaigns demanding retention of Sharma.
Additional Director General of Police, Chattisgarh, John Longkumer is most likely to take charge as the next DGP Nagaland.
Nagaland Government has been pressing the Union Government to remove Sharma citing his inexperience in administration, whereas those seeking Sharma’s retention claims that he is the best man to run the affairs of the Police Department that is besieged by massive irregularities.
One key reason for the State Government wanting to remove Sharma, sources said, was that he is unlikely to toe the diktats of politicians.
Social media has been flooded with photos and messages in support of Sharma, referring to him as “the People’s DGP”.
Sharma refuted the allegations, saying, “I have nothing to do with this campaign.”
Beside the public, a section of the state police had initiated a signature campaign to demand that the 1992-batch IPS officer be allowed to continue as DGP.
Calling it “attempts to engineer a mutiny among the state police”, a senior State Government official, on condition of anonymity, said the Government has been “advised to initiate disciplinary proceedings”.
The State Government said the campaign was orchestrated.
“It was an informed decision on the basis of inputs received from agencies that he (Sharma) was responsible for creating the hype on social media and also engineering protests not only by public but members of the forces that led to a serious likelihood of breakdown of law and order,” Temjen Toy, Nagaland chief secretary said
State Government was “disappointed” on how an administrative decision to appoint the DGP, a prerogative of the State Government, has become “a matter of public debate and discussion”.
Meanwhile the Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has expressed disappointment at the forced replacement of Rupin Sharma (IPS) as DGP by an officer much junior to him in service.
“The centre refused to act based upon the letter of the Chief Minister, Dy Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to bring in an outside state IPS cadre to be the New DGP of Nagaland, taking into consideration the immaculate track record of Rupin Sharma IPS,” the forum claimed.
It said the action of the State Government is against the IPS (Regulation of Seniority) Rules, 1988 and against the wishes of the people of Nagaland who openly demanded his retention.
Stating that the action of the State Government is an insult to the honest police officer, who refused to bow down to Mantris and Babus for corruption, the forum said such unethical action will demoralize the State police force and honest public servants.
The NPRAAF also demanded to know from the Government if Rupin Sharma IPS do not qualify the set criteria of 30 years to become DGP, then what criteria were followed to appoint the new DGP.
“If the Govt. response is not satisfactory NPRAAF will seek the door of justice at the greater interest of the people,” it warned.
Normally an officer is put on ‘compulsory waiting’ as a tool to punish officers who upset the establishment. Politicians usually use ‘compulsory waiting’ against officers to make them pliant.
An officer on ‘compulsory wait’ has no designated post and remains without work. But that doesn’t mean that the officer can idle at home. The officer has to report every day to a designated officer and spend the working hours in the vicinity.
Officers on compulsory wait are entitled to monetary benefits. But in the absence of any post, they do not get other tangibles – office car, telephone bill reimbursement -and the intangible benefit called sense of power.