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Nagaland police chief Rupin Sharma removed for ‘orchestrating’ campaigns for his term extension, to face action

Rupin Sharma, who has been put on compulsory wait, refuted the allegations, saying he had nothing to do with the campaign.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 21:16 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Nagaland,Rupin Sharma,Neiphiu Rio
Rupin Sharma was removed as the director general of police in Nagaland after it was alleged that engineered social media campaigns that called for his term to be extended. (Nagaland Police website/nagapol.gov.in )

The Nagaland government has removed Rupin Sharma as the DGP and is set to take disciplinary action against him for allegedly “orchestrating a campaign” using state police and public, with protests and signature campaigns, to extend his tenure as the state police chief.

Sharma, who has been put on compulsory wait, refuted the allegations, saying, “I have nothing to do with this campaign.”

Social media has been flooded with photos and messages in support of Sharma, referring to him as “the People’s DGP”.

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, chief secretary, Nagaland government said

He noted that the campaign was launched “at a time when the state was grappling with issues arising on account of violent attacks on armed forces”.

This official quoted earlier explained how the 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”.

Sharma’s ouster came months after the state government had sought a senior officer from the Centre in March.

In a letter to Union home secretary, Rajiv Gauba, Toy has pointed how Sharma’s appointment in November 2017 was a “stop-gap arrangement” and how his inexperience — one year in Nagaland, most of his 26 years with R&AW — had “led to challenges and issues in the conduct of the Assembly elections 2018…”

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio had written a similar letter to home minister Rajnath Singh.

The official quoted above said “things are finally moving” and Nagaland may get a senior officer soon.

Currently, RP Kikon, a 1998-batch Nagaland cadre officer serving as additional DGP, has been given charge of the Nagaland police.

“There were serious competence issues,” the official quoted earlier said when asked about Sharma. “He was more about populism and welfare than policing.”

A source close to Sharma admitted that the officer did undertake some welfare measures for the police. “For example, the ration and supplies system was overhauled. Police canteens came up and cops who would get just Rs 500-600 as travel allowance during election duty got as much as Rs 3,000,” he said, explaining why even cops were rallying behind him.

Officials in the know hinted that Sharma was not in the good books of those in power.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 17:43 IST