Anti-graft activists demand retention of State top cop Rupin Sharma

Anti-graft activists demand retention  of State top cop Rupin Sharma

Kohima, June 18: Effort to retain Rupin Sharma as the Director General of Police (DGP) has taken to the streets as first phase, which would be soon followed by rallies throughout the State.
While Naga organizations have remained mute spectators, hundreds of anti-graft activists under the banner ‘Concerned People of Nagaland’ today launched a signature campaign across the State to demand the Union Government not to get rid of Sharma as DGP Nagaland. The campaign has come against the backdrop of the State Government trying to oust Sharma who it fears is unlikely to toe diktat of the politicians.
“Retain peoples’ DGP”, read the signature campaign banner displayed below State Police Headquarters (PHQ) here today, wherein people from different walks of life came and signed the paper sheets.
Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Home Department, Y. Patton have been trying to remove the incumbent DGP. The duo lately met Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and asked him to replace Sharma with John Longkumer, Additional DGP Chhattisgarh.
At Kohima despite order from the Police Department directing police personnel and employees not to take part in the proposed peaceful rally at Police Headquarters today, several hundreds of police personnel in plain clothes, women and volunteers attended the signature campaign rally outside the PHQ at PR Hill.
Hundreds of police personnel were deployed at the venue to disrupt the rally in the morning. On Sunday evening, the DGP had issued an order directing police personnel and employees of disciplinary action if they participate in the rally.
Volunteers carried out signature campaign, while employees of the Police Department collected nearly 700 individual petitions to be submitted to the Union Home Minister. There were also reports of similar signature campaign being carried out in Dimapur and other districts.
Police and employees of the Police Department also participated in the signature campaign.
Anti-corruption activists said they would resort to another course of action in the coming days if DGP Sharma is not retained as demanded by the people. They said Sharma is a “people’s DGP” and that he should not be removed when the State Police Department is blemished with anomalies and scams.
Women who participated in today’s peaceful rally-cum-signature campaign shouted slogans demanding Government to retain Sharma. “We want Rupin Sharma,” they cried out.
One woman volunteer alleged that the Police Department has become like a personal department. “This department is not for personal or a community. We don’t want any more backdoor appointment,” she stated. Another of her colleague said Police Department should have efficient and competent employees and not corrupt people.
“Police Department should be manned by efficient people,” she reasoned.
A policeman’s wife said after Sharma took over as DGP, police personnel are receiving what is due for them, adding that Government is trying to remove the incumbent police chief for their selfish motive.
Police who were on duty at the venue also asked the people to support them to retain Sharma.
“Rupin Sharma is a most upright person. He is a gem of a person and a blessing to the people of the State,” said a senior volunteer. He said no DGP in the State had performed like Sharma but the “selfish politicians” wants to remove him to “make easy bucks” at the cost of the common people. “He is a people’s DGP. We are here to ask the Government not to remove him and we will even resort to another course of action to retain him,” said another volunteer.
Many of the anti-graft activists and employees of the Police Department today questioned the promise of corruption free governance by the Progressive People’s Alliance (PDA) Government.
The bottomline of the people’s desire to retain Sharma as DGP was propelled by accumulation of anomalies and scams in the Police Department over the years, particularly the infamous backdoor appointment, which has been mostly attributed to Home Minister, Y. Patton. The second inning of Patton was unearthing of alleged MKR Pillai scandal which involved multi-crores.
Regardless of protest by the people, the State Government has kept the alleged scam and massive backdoor appointment in cold storage.
Successive DGPs were almost puppets of the State Government unlike the current incumbent who is not expected to submit to the corrupt and wayward practices.
While on the other hand pro-Government supporters have taken anti-Sharma campaign to social media branding him an inefficient police chief.
Rio and Patton have also told the Centre that Sharma was an inefficient officer and that he should be replaced.
Sharma, as SP (Crime), earlier in the PHQ, had cracked the bogus pensioners scam and saved over Rs 10 crores for the State’s exchequer.
While the situation is likely to heighten as people are determined to retain DGP Sharma, the State Government is yet to make statement on the issue, or why they want Sharma to pack his bags and leave. Many questions remain to be answered by the State Government, who had promised transparency and accountability and zero tolerance to corruption. (Page News Service)