The Nagaland government has warned government officials to not criticise the state government policies and actions on social media or before the media, The Hindu reported on Wednesday. It said disciplinary action will be initiated against those found guilty.

This came a few days after the Centre dismissed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) demand for a separate flag and Constitution, and said the insurgent group was delaying peace negotiations. Naga talks interlocutor and state’s Governor RN Ravi had said endless negotiations cannot be held with the insurgent group under the shadow of guns. The talks will conclude by October 31, he had added.

In an order issued on Monday, Chief Secretary of Nagaland Temjen Toy said: “It has come to notice that some Government servants have been found criticising policies and actions of the Government by expressing their views/opinions or by making statements in the press, social media and in public meetings.” It said this was in violation of Rule 22 of the Nagaland Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1968. “Therefore all government servants are directed to take note and not indulge in any act which may be construed as violation of such Rules, thereby making him/her liable for disciplinary action,” the order added.

Leaves of bureaucrats and police cancelled

The Nagaland government has also cancelled leaves of bureaucrats and police personnel, the Hindustan Times reported. It asked them not to move out of their place of posting till further notice.

“Wild speculation that an announcement of solution to the Naga issue is imminent is leading to an uncertain atmosphere,” A Sinha, a senior Nagaland government official, told the newspaper. “In light of that, certain precautionary measures have been put in place and officials of the police and administration have been asked to not leave their station.”

He said there was no communication with the state government about any agreement being signed on any specific date.

The Indian government had signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN(IM) in 1997. In 2015, the Centre and the rebel group began negotiations for a solution. However, a joint team of the Assam Rifles and the Indian Army destroyed three NSCN(IM) camps in June 2018, during an operation in Motongsa village of Arunachal Pradesh.

In July last year, the Centre informed a Parliamentary panel that it signed a framework agreement with the rebel group, after it agreed on a settlement within the Indian federation with a “special status”.

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