Other States

Nagaland government officials told to declare any family member’s affiliation to ‘underground organisations’

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi. File photo

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi. File photo   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The Nagaland government has asked its officials to declare if their family members or relatives are members of any “underground organisation”.

The unprecedented decision comes in the wake of a letter written by Nagaland Governor R. N. Ravi to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on June 16 that “law and order had collapsed in the State” and over half a dozen organised armed gangs were brazenly running their respective “so-called governments” challenging the legitimacy of the State government without any resistance from the State law and order machinery.

Law and order is better, says Nagaland CM

In an order dated July 7, Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said that “as per instructions all the administrative heads of the department are directed to obtain information in the self-declaration form attached herewith from all government departments under his/her department/office regarding family members and relatives in underground organizations and submit to the Home Department, Political Branch latest by 7, August 2020 positively.”

Not named

The order does not specify or name the “underground organisations”. There are many groups that have signed ceasefire agreements with the Centre and the State government in Nagaland.

For example, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), an umbrella body of seven extremist groups, is involved in the Naga peace talks with the Centre. Similarly, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) that signed a framework agreement on the Naga peace deal with the Centre in 2015, entered into a ceasefire agreement in 1997. Only NSCN-Khaplang, a breakaway faction of NSCN that carried out an attack on an army convoy in 2015, has been formally banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). All the groups have admitted to accepting “nominal contributions” from the people.

Legitimate concern: on law and order in Nagaland

Without naming any group, the Nagaland Governor highlighted in the June 16 letter that “armed miscreants appoint their own dealers for every commodity from salt to construction material coming into the State and levy illegal taxes on every item”.

The “self-declaration” form issued by the Nagaland government comprises of seven questions — name of the government servant; department and designation; if any family member or close relative is a member of a Naga underground organisation; if yes, name of person who is the member of an underground organisation; the nature of the relationship with the government employee; the name of the underground organisation of which he/she is a member; and position/rank presently held in the organisation.

After Manipur, discontent brewing in Nagaland BJP

The form asks government employees to certify that the information provided is true to the best of their knowledge. A footnote describes a family member as a spouse, sons/daughters, and siblings or parents of the government employee. “Relative shall consist of anyone who is directly related to any of the family member of the government employee,” the form said.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 7:08:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nagaland-government-officials-told-to-declare-any-family-members-affiliation-to-underground-organisations/article32034004.ece

Next Story