To police the police

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/29/2020 1:25:36 PM IST

 Naga Tribal Union Chümoukedima Town (NTUCT) has been consistently pursuing the illegal backdoor appointments made on February 24,2020 of 1140 constables since early this year but apparently it seems the powers that be have grown thick-skins and are not at all bothered by any consequences. It may be recalled that NTUCT had in February this year revealed that along with some 208 candidates who were selected after open advertisement for filling up the vacancies, another batch comprising of 1140 were added as “recruits” to undergo training at the Police training centre. NTUCT demanded that the police department furnish details of those backdoor appointees as well as to furnish names, chest numbers and domicile district of those 208 who were appointed through open recruitment. After filing the RTI application with the department and after expiry of the mandated 30-day period for reply, NTUCT then approached the DGP- the Appellate Authority of the department. A hearing was held on June 17 and on the very day itself the DGP reportedly directed the Public Information Officer (PIO)of the department furnish the reply to the RTI. According to NTUCT, instead, the PIO remained defiant to not provide documents as sought for on the plea that they (documents) do not meet public interest under Sec.8(1)(j) of the Act. However, NTUCT maintained that the particular section Sec.8(1)(j) pertained only to personal information which they did not seek and thus, the PIO had incorrectly cited it to justify refusal to provide general information. Besides reiterating their demands on appointment orders of the 1140 including the 208 who were appointed through open recruitment, NTUCT also demanded imposition of penalty on the PIO under Sec.20(1) and or Sec.20(2) with exemplary cost. Now the ball is in the court of the chief information commissioner Nagaland. Backdoor appointments in such a crucial department such as the police which is responsible for maintenance of law and order, has devastating consequences. For one, those who are appointed through backdoor will be beholden to their patrons instead of the rule of law. If there is a problem with ‘law and order’ as it is described, then having those who have cheated their way to get the job as law enforcers is one of the factors. The issue of appointment in the police department was brought by a senior police officer now retired, Toshitsungba Aier IPS during the November 26,2015 NPSA general conference at police complex Chümoudkedima. Aier had said that there were 1500 excess police personnel in the department causing extra burden of around Rs.50 crore annually to the department. He also said Nagaland has the highest police to population ratio at 1:50 as against the national average of 1:500. Aier also pointed out that performance-wise personnel of the IR (NAP) Battalion were more efficient than DEF and other branches of the police. He attributed this to the fact that 60 to 70 percent of IRB personnel were recruited directly on merit and through open competition. Needless to say, the outspoken officer was soon shunted out as incentive. In 2011 alone more than 50% of SIs were recruited without competitive exam, while from 1997 to 2012, 257 ABSIs were recruited without interview and 253 promoted as ABSIs. Such practices have dealt a severe blow on the discipline and the morale of the jawans. Unfortunately, the only thing that has changed are the politicians in power or officers but not the syndrome. Certainly there is need to police the police to promote professionalism and rid of vested interests.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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