Supporters of the Signature Campaign calling for retaining Rupin Sharma as DGP, Nagaland Police sign on banners put up at the Naga Shopping Arcade (Super Market), Dimapur on June 21. (Morung Photo by Soreishim Mahong)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | June 21
The Signature Campaign drawing the attention of the government to retain Rupin Sharma as the DGP, Nagaland Police, concluded on June 21. The campaign continued for the fourth and final day even as the Nagaland State Government issued an order on June 20 removing Sharma as the state police chief.
Campaign volunteers said that the signatures collected will be sent to the President of India and also to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Signatures were collected over four days in several towns across the state since the campaign was launched on June 18.
One volunteer in Dimapur informed that support to the campaign continued to pour in even on the fourth day as volunteers took the initiative to accumulate signatures throughout the day in Dimapur, Mokokchung, Kohima, Chizami, Pfutsero, Bhandari and Athibung. Signatures supporting the campaign were received from as far away as Bangalore and Delhi over the four days.
Asked on the number of signatures collected, it was informed that the volunteers were still to total it, while adding that the count was over 6000 in the afternoon and more to go. “Still more signatures to be submitted from other districts and colonies in Dimapur,” said the volunteer.
The banner for the Signature Campaign calling for retaining Rupin Sharma as DGP, Nagaland Police sign on banners put up at the Naga Shopping Arcade (Super Market), Dimapur on June 21. (Morung Photo by Soreishim Mahong)
The volunteer was asked on the chances of the government taking note of the campaign. Wishing to remain anonymous citing “pressure” from certain quarters, the volunteer maintained, “Our stand is clear. Let him (Rupin Sharma) complete his term.”
She referred to a 2006 order of the Supreme Court which warrants that an officer once appointed as DGP cannot be removed till the officer in concern completes two years in the post. She further contended that the order of the Nagaland State Government issued by the Home Commissioner appointing Sharma as DGP on November 23, 2017 made no mention of “Stop-gap arrangement.”
“The government says Sharma has yet to attain the requisite seniority. If that’s the case, why appoint him in the first place? Also the officer set to replace him has yet to fulfil the standard 30 years of service criterion or 28 years in ‘special circumstances’.”
One of the oldest signatories appending his signature during the Signature Campaign calling for retaining Rupin Sharma as DGP, Nagaland Police at the Naga Shopping Arcade (Super Market), Dimapur on June 21. (Morung Photo by Soreishim Mahong)
On the likelihood of Sharma returning as DGP in a few years from now, she said, “He has chances of coming back. But let him complete the current tenure.”
An officer of the IPS 1992 batch, Sharma has till March 2027 to retire and by which time, technically, he would have fulfilled the length of service criterion. It is unclear though whether it is feasible to assume the office of the DGP twice considering Sharma has already served as DGP, the “stop-gap” status of his tenure notwithstanding. The State Government has maintained his appointment was a “stop-gap arrangement.”