Curious case of Nagaland’s DGP


The intricacies and intrigues vis-à-vis Nagaland’s top cop’s post is curious since neither the concerned incumbent nor the state Government has been up-front about the matter save for some peripheral issues, widely publicized, raising heckles and clouding judgments a propos the best interest of the state. However some thoughts need sharing. If one isn’t mistaken, Nagaland’s top cop is actually holding charge of the post of the Director-General of Police (DGP) but is not Nagaland’s full-fledged DGP ~ so the state Government is actually well within its right to appoint a full-fledged DGP, who meets all the requirements necessary to be appointed as a state DGP. Therefore, the state Government has recommended another Police Officer to be appointed Nagaland’s DGP, and has the Centre’s approval. So, if the state Government had clarified unambiguously that the officer now holding charge of the DGP’s office is not the full-fledged DGP right from the beginning, it could have saved itself a lot of headaches. But it appears that Governments have great proclivity for headaches. Be that as it may, like any other government post, there are specific and specified qualifications, qualities and requirements for an officer to be appointment as DGP ~ although it is well-known that the posts of the state Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police are generally political. In India, the jury has been out on these “political” appointments for decades so till the matter is resolved one way or the other, we will have to live with what has become the “norm”, the “convention” ~ although not actually mandated by the Constitution. Coming back to Nagaland, for the Officer now holding charge of DGP, it is really not very officer-like and gentlemanly to ensconce himself in a position against the Government’s wish however much a section of society may support him ~ and whatever the claims of him having been beneficial for the Police Department and the public. Sometimes, the public is not the best judge of issues that have imperceptible and convoluted contours with serious ramifications. In any case, it is very easy to arouse the public’s passions ~ too many examples abound. Anyway, one of the requirements the state Government claims the present top cop doesn’t have is thirty years of experience as a Police officer. By this very logic of the state Government, our next DGP must have thirty years of experience. Anything less would be a contradiction and negation of its own argument ~ however commendably glorious any Police officer’s track record. So yes, clarity of thought and purpose is expected of our state Government ~ the public deserves no less. Ultimately, the principal issue the state Government and the public ought to focus on is the best interest of the state, which by the way is not necessarily linked to any particular Officer is but her/his efficiency and effectiveness ~ and more importantly to her/his commitment to the Constitution of India, not the requirements and caprices of the political party in power ~ after s/he explicitly meets all requirements to wear the DGP’s colours. This then also invalidates all arguments that only a son of the soil is best equipped to address and redress the needs of any particular state of the Indian Union because in India all Indians are sons of the soil ~ and there are interminable instances when sons of the soil have been detrimental to the interest of the state and the people by flouting laws of the state. For instance, Prohibition is still in force in Nagaland but a former son of the soil DGP, who owns property in Dimapur, which is leased out to hoteliers provide the “facility” of a bar where alcohol is openly served. But who cares? Not least the state Government. This isn’t the only instance ~ so many holding elected and selected public offices also own hospitality facilities with “bar services”. The issue of upholding and enforcing laws in letter and spirit is germane to the next DGP’s appointment, which should be the state Government and the public’s main concern. But is it? While all police personnel’s interest and welfare should be the primary concern of all top ranking Police Officers, their concern should equally be the law and order management, crime, public’s security and peace and generally the enforcement of all constitutional provisions without fear or favour. Without a DGP with these priorities, Nagaland will see just another DGP making the best of her/his office before retirement.