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Deputy CM’s letter seeking a new DGP sparks controversy in Nagaland

Deputy chief minister Y Patton, in a letter to Rajnath Singh on March 28, had requested that the Union ministry of home affairs consider “’posting an officer of sufficient seniority from other cadre as DGP Nagaland’.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2018 13:38 IST
Sadiq Naqvi, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Nagaland Deputy CM,Nagaland,Nagaland deputy CM's letter
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio (pic) and state chief secretary Temjen Joy also wrote letters to Rajnath Singh seeking the appointment of Lungriading, an IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre from the 1990 batch, for the post of Nagaland DGP. (PTI File Photo)

The attempts of the newly sworn-in Progressive Democratic Alliance government in Nagaland to remove the state’s director general of police Rupin Sharma have sparked a controversy.

The office of deputy chief minister Y Patton, who also holds the home portfolio, released a statement on Tuesday saying the state government’s efforts have been misinterpreted by the press, a day after a letter written by Patton to Union home minister Rajnath Singh seeking a replacement for Sharma found its way to social media platforms.

Patton said it was “very unfortunate that the confidential correspondence of the highest level has been leaked in social media in an unauthorised manner.”

Patton, in a letter to Singh on March 28, had requested that the Union ministry of home affairs consider “posting an officer of sufficient seniority from other cadre as DGP Nagaland.”

He said Sharma, a 1992 batch Indian Police Service officer of Nagaland cadre, was made the state police chief as a “stop-gap arrangement” since the elections were due and that he did not have the requisite experience of serving in the state.

Patton recommended the name of Lungriading, an IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre from the 1990 batch, for the top police post in the state.

It later emerged that chief minister Neiphiu Rio and state chief secretary Temjen Joy also wrote similar letters to Singh. Rio asked for Lungriading’s appointment and Joy did not recommend any name.

The letters said while in other states an experience of 30 years is necessary for the police chief’s post, in Nagaland, those with an experience of 28 years have been considered in the past.

The opposition Naga People’s Front launched an attack against Patton’s attempts as his letter was picked up by the media, calling it a case of “malafide intentions” and said, “rather than look into the number of years an officer has served, he should consider the performance index of the officer.”

“Patton has a track record of flouting all norms and procedures to get his candidates appointed or allotted contract and supply works,” the party said in a statement.

“His wayward behaviour 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,” it added.

Patton served as the home minister in the previous government as well before he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

On his part, Patton said it is the responsibility of the elected state government to maintain law and order and “to select a suitable officer in the overall interest of the Public of the State contrary to what has been portrayed in the media.”

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 13:19 IST