HM under fire from oppn; CM assures panel to review system
KOHIMA, FEB. 14 (NPN): Under fire from the opposition NPF over the recent controversial appointments of over 900 police recruits allegedly through backdoor, chief minister Neiphiu Rio announced the setting up of a committee to review the entire appointment system in the government and submit recommendations for fair recruitments.
Intervening in the heated debate over the recruitment of candidates at the ongoing fifth session of 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Friday, Rio assured the house of bringing in transparency in the entire recruitment process of the government.
Rio’s assurance came after deputy chief minister in-charge of home Y. Patton came under fire for the alleged questionable process where over 900 candidates were selected despite not going through the selection process. Only 208 candidates were selected for recruitment.
Launching the opposition attack, NPF leader T.R. Zeliang called for corrective measures in the recruitment system in the police department and also demanded that all recruitments should be done through open recruitments and that only qualified candidates be appointed against vacancies. He urged the chief minister to withdraw the recruitment power given to DGP, SPs and COs through a cabinet decision in 2002.
Mentioning that withdrawing appointment power would avoid confusion, Zeliang also suggested that police recruitment should be done as in the Indian Army where the process was open and selection on merit.
Earlier, commotion started in the Assembly during the question hour when deputy chief minister Y Patton, replying to a supplementary question raised by Dr. Imtiwapang, referred to some unverified data circulated on social media on number of appointments made since 2003 by former home ministers (including him), Neiphiu Rio, Thenucho and two current opposition MLAs – Kuzholuzo Nienu and Imkong L Imchen.
Imchen attacked Patton for raising old issue in NLA without proper proof and documentation, stating it amounted to character assassination, prejudice and unsubstantiated quoting from social media. As Patton mentioned Thenucho’s name, Imchen brought to the notice of the Speaker that the name of a non sitting MLA cannot be brought before the house for discussion.
The Speaker intervened and stated that unverified data cannot be brought to the floor of the house. The Speaker said that the source needed to be probed and verified. The opposition member also demanded constituting a standing parliamentary committee for an independent enquiry.
Joining the debate, NPF legislator Azo Nienu questioned Patton for blaming others instead of taking preventive measures.
Meanwhile, replying to a starred question Dr. Imtiwapang, Patton informed the House that 206 constables were appointed through open recruitment in 2019.
Stating that the constables were recruited by SPs and commandants as per criteria, he pointed out that exemption for appointment through open recruitment was mentioned in a personnel & administrative reforms (P&AR) department notification of 2004.
On appointments of ABSI and UBSI, Patton said the DGP had been delegated with the recruitment power as per laid down procedures and appointments were made as per the eligibility criteria.
He claimed that backward quota had been maintained during the recruitment, adding that 15 sub-inspectors were appointed in 2019-20.
It may be mentioned that the issue came to light after Naga Tribal Union Chümoukedima Town (NTUCT) claimed that about 1200 new recruits were to undergo training when only 208 candidates were selected through an open recruitment rally.