Mizoram IAS body backs officer Nazuk Kumar after students’ union urges her to go

Association expresses concern over steps being taken against non-local officer

The Mizoram IAS Association has backed Nazuk Kumar, the State’s Higher and Technical Education Director who was asked by an influential students’ union to leave the department in order to avoid “conflict” and “communal issues”.

The Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) on March 8 wrote to Ms. Kumar, a 29-year-old IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, advising her to make space for a Mizo officer and join some other department because a “non-local must not hold such an important (Higher and Technical Education) post as it involves the careers of indigenous students”.

AGMUT expands to Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory.

Expressing concern over the steps taken by the MSU against Ms. Kumar, the association issued a statement on Friday in her support. It said that the main reason for the students demanding her replacement was due to apprehension of controversy during the forthcoming selection of candidates for technical courses if a non-Mizo officer oversees the process.

“The association would like to express its honest opinion that the controversy, if there has so been in the selection of candidates for technical courses, could not be ascribed to commission and omission solely of a non-Mizo officer as the head of the department of Higher and Technical Education. It is rather a matter of adherence to given norms,” the association said.

It said such controversies can be avoided if one abides by the rules and regulations strictly laid down by the government for this purpose. “The question of being Mizo or non-Mizo does not arise at all in an inadvertent or deliberate mishandling of such a selection process. The apprehension on the aforesaid premise is, therefore, considered baseless,” the statement added.

It said that the attempt to deny an officer her rightful place merely on the grounds of unfounded suspicion of her future performance is in bad taste and still worse is the attempt to make her relinquish the legitimate official position on the pretext of her being non-Mizo. This, the association pointed out, is most likely to be tinged with a communal colour, which will not be in the best interests of students in particular and of Mizo society in general.

“It is, therefore, the association’s strong belief that it will be for the sake of justice and in the larger interest of the public to create a congenial atmosphere for Nazuk Kumar to continue work in her new assignment peacefully,” the statement said.

Scores of MSU members tried to stop Ms. Kumar from attending office on March 9. She was transferred from Chandigarh to Mizoram in January as Additional Secretary in the State’s Information and Communication Technology Department.

She was soon made the Director of the State’s Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department and transferred to the Higher and Technical Education Department three days later.

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