Nagaland Governor R. N Ravi in a letter to Chief minister N Rio stated the scenario in the state is grim and law and order has collapsed, People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) coalition government which has regional party Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP as the partner stated that assessment of the law and order being precarious and grim and having deteriorated and collapsed since August 2019 does not appear to be factual.
The Governor in a letter on June 16 stated that the constitutionally established state government is being challenged on a day to day basis by the armed gangs who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation while instruments of law and order remain totally unresponsive. “In such a backdrop I can no longer abstain from my Constitutional obligations for law and order in the state under Article 371 A(1 (b) of the constitution of India.” He proposed to periodically review.
The state government stated the matter relating to Article. 371 (A) (1) (b) State Government pointed out that this procedure of taking approval of the Governor for transfer and posting of senior government officials was done away with after a Resolution adopted by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly on 17th December 2013. Ever since the curtains have fallen on this issue and Nagaland has come at par with other States in this respect. “The State Government is of the view that any decision to put the clock back in contravention of such a Resolution in the guise of discharging special responsibilities under Art. 371 (A) (1) (b) would be against the principles of democracy and would be viewed as anti-people and we must not roll back the State to the era of 1960s, the period of formation of Nagaland State”.
State government in a statement stated it is of the view that the assessment of the law and order being precarious and grim and having deteriorated and collapsed since August 2019 does not appear to be factual. The State of Nagaland was born out of a political settlement. However, in the last 57 years of its existence, the political problem still remains unresolved. This issue has been acknowledged as a political issue and the Government of India (GOI) has been negotiating with Naga Political Groups (NPGs) since 1997. These political negotiations are being held at the highest level with successive Prime Ministers, including the present Prime Minister meeting the leadership of the political organization.
The statement added that the Governor was the interlocutor of the talks and was later appointed as Governor of Nagaland on 1st August 2019. The State Government is pleased that with the signing of the Framework agreement of 3rd August 2015 and conclusion of the talks on 31st October 2019, a political solution is in sight.
The government stated the Central Government is in a ceasefire agreement with the Naga national political groups for more than two decades and the talks are reported to have concluded in October 2019 and accordingly the people are expecting an early political solution. The State Government feels that terming the organizations as “armed gangs” may not be in the interest of the peace process and may not be congenial to the achievement of lasting peace which is the desire of both the GoI and the State government.
The statement stated that Nagaland has come a long way from precarious law and order and security situation in the last several decades. There have been assassination attempts on the lives of VIPs including the incumbent Chief Minister when he was the then Works & Housing Minister on 30thMay, 1995, and serious challenges to fulfillment of constitutional obligations like participating in elections. Despite these challenges the Constitution has always been upheld.
“The overall law and order situation in the State continues to be normal and peaceful. In fact more than 95% of the cases relating to extortion, the cases have been registered suo-motu by the Police, which takes cognizance of any complaint that comes, and there are enough supervisory officers provided also to ensure that action is swiftly taken. Besides the SIT, Nagaland Police has formed the Highway Protection Force in January, 2020 for securing the highways and construction”, the government stated.
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