Nagaland Director General of Police Rupin Sharma was formally removed from his post on Wednesday despite a campaign demanding that he be retained. Renchamo P Kikon, the additional director general of police, took over from Sharma with immediate effect, an official notification read.

Sharma, an Indian Police Service officer of the Nagaland cadre, had been the state’s acting DGP since November. His junior colleagues and several civil society groups had started a signature campaign, urging the government of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to not replace him.

According to reports, the state government wanted to remove Sharma as he had completely stopped the alleged practice of political appointments in the department. A police officer told, “He is not allowing any politicians to interfere, so that directly affects the ministers and politicians.” “That is why they seem to want him out.”

Soon after the current Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-Bharatiya Janata Party government took over in March, Rio and his deputy Y Patton complained to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about Sharma’s alleged lack of experience.

The state’s Chief Secretary Temjen Toy also wrote to the Union Home Secretary, requesting that Sharma be removed. Sharma’s “inexperience led to challenges and issues in the conduct of the state Assembly elections in February”, Toy alleged in his letter. “Somehow we were able to ensure the elections were conducted without any major law and order situation.”