Guwahati, January 27: “Shocked” and “insulted” after not being allowed to enter the venue of the Republic Day celebrations in Aizawl, two IAS officers have written to the home ministry seeking action.
The powerful NGOs in Mizoram, including the Young Mizo Association, had announced a boycott of the Republic Day celebrations in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
In a letter to Union Home Secretary with copies marked to state government officials Krishna Mohan Uppu, the Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Mizoram, said he has “never faced such an insult and indignation in my entire life as a civil servant”. Uppu detailed how he arrived at the Assam Rifles ground, the venue of the celebrations, at 7 am but was prevented from entering by representatives of the NGOs.
In his letter, Uppu wrote how he tried to reason with the NGO representatives and the police personnel on duty but they were told that only secretary level and above officers will be allowed to go.
“Sensing that there might be a law and order situation if we keep arguing with the NGOs and since the police personnel on duty were discharging their duties to ensure invitees are allowed peaceful access, we had to stay put outside the venue,” the letter reads.
“After waiting for an hour, we had to leave the venue with a heavy heart and a feeling of insult and indignation for not being allowed to attend Republic Day celebrations in my own county and the very state I am working,” Uppu wrote in the letter.
Bhupesh Chaudhary, another young IAS officer, posted as registrar of cooperative societies, too, wrote a similar letter and said he, too, was not allowed and was told that the government of Mizoram has entered into an agreement with the NGO coordination committee, a group of powerful Mizo NGOs, which said that only secretary level and above officers would be allowed on the premises.
“It is most unfortunate that in my own country I have been stopped from attending Republic Day celebrations by the people of the same country. Can it get worse,” Chaudhary said adding at least eight to nine officials were prevented from attending the function “forcefully”.
“We are bound by the government orders not by diktats of the NGOs,” he said. “This is unthinkable in free India,” he said.
Both Uppu and Chaudhary have demanded investigations and action on the incident.
Home Secretary, Mizoram did not respond to calls and text messages seeking a response.
Lalhmachhuana, Secretary of the NGO coordination committee and general secretary of the Young Mizo Association, said the organizations had requested the officials to not take part voluntarily in light of the boycott call. (Courtesy: HT)