KOHIMA: He made Nagaland proud by becoming the first officer of the Nagaland Police to receive the prestigious Shaurya Chakra award from the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee recently.
He is none other than Atu Zumvu, who is a Sub-Divisional Police Officer with the Nagaland Police. More than his bravery, it was his compassion and act of kindness which earned him this prestigious award.
It may be mentioned here that CRPF officer, Vezoto Tünyi who is now an assistant commandant in the CRPF, is the first Naga to receive the award in 2016. Capt. E. Jamir from the Indian army is the second recipient. Mr Zumvu deservedly received it in 2017.
In an interaction with TNT -The Northeast Today, Atu expressed hope that It gives immense joy and motivation that his achievement will be an inspiration for many particularly in the Nagaland Police.
Here an excerpt from an interview with Atu Zumvu:
- A little history about yourself (including place of birth, schooling, year you entered police force).
- I was born in a Sub-divisional town in Nagaland called Medzhiphema also known as Ghaspani during one of the numerous transfer postings of my dad who was also a Police Officer ( Asst. Commandant). He died due to illness when I was barely 12 years old and I was raised by my single mother with other five younger sisters. The schooling years were filled with memorable moments though we had to shift different schools almost every second year. St John school Tuensang, a salesian educational institution had a role in shaping and disciplining my younger days. After dad’s expiry we moved on to Dimapur district and settled there till I graduated and joined Nagaland Police in 1997.
- What were your driving force behind your decision to join the Nagaland police?
- One of my childhood dream was to follow my father’s footsteps whose fatherly qualities and leadership charisma remained an inspiration for me over the years and always will be cherished. As a young man those years to join police force like him and involve in action was my deep passion. And this passion with continued dedication in work has brought me this laurel today which will again remain an inspiration for many younger generations to come.
- How do you see your state in as far as Law and Order is concerned?
- Nagaland As far as law and order situation is concerned, Nagaland, though a small state has always been in the news for many infamous reasons or the other. Some type of crime rate figures are minimal or almost nil, like dowry and crime against women, while some crime rates are aggressively high like extortion, vehicle theft and drug trafficking, still some go unreported. In Nagaland, towns like Dimapur are daily expanding and equally the crime ratio, be it out in the streets, frauds, theft or the anti-social activities. Security forces have to remain vigilante round the clock. With Government’s efforts and enhanced monitoring, information system, such criminal activities are faster reported now. Again, Nagaland is a transit route of many other inter- state criminal nexus, even more, its close proximity to Myanmar has been used by various insurgent outfits. At such times people expect police personnel to rededicate their efforts for safety and peace in the state. It also calls for Law abiding citizens not to turn blind eye for crimes happening around them.
- During the encounter with the NDFB Millitants, you were ordered to shoot on sight but you refrained from doing that, why so?
- On that fateful day there was clear specific information about the presence of the NDFB (S) militants in a hideout located at the outskirt of Kohima which they have made as safe house. Though Government of India had earlier already issued orders to shoot at sight against NDFB (S) militants involved in the massacre of 81 innocent civilians in Assam, yet during the raid they were given a fair chance to live. Instead of simply storming the house with police commandoes I decided to first enter myself inside the house in civilian dress with my loaded pistol tucked inside the jacket posing as a fellow searching for rent house while quietly positioned the police personnel and surrounded the house to avoid confrontation and eventuality. In conversation for about two minutes with them, the descriptions of the NDFB militants were confirmed so I made an assessment of presence of total number of inmates in the house. While considering the inhuman act done by them they deserve to be encountered then and there, but they were made to surrender. They will now understand what the value of a life is!
- what is the way forward ? (Police Force in Nagaland)
- With dedicated efforts and many young dynamic officers in Nagaland Police much more achievements will be coming on the way. The state Government’s plan to modernise the department will be a boost to enhance service to public in maintaining law and order. Not only men but equally smart women police are inducted in the department. We have a full fledged Mahilla battalion and Women Police Stations in Nagaland Police continuously keeping vigil on crimes and they have already garnered much accolades in national level too. It gives immense joy and motivation that the Shaurya Chakra award given to me will be an inspiration for many particularly in the Nagaland Police.
- Life for a life is not your cup of tea, what do you suggest is the best way to normalise militancy in the region?
- As a state police officer we strictly adhere to the legal provisions of law while conducting house search and arrest during counter insurgency operations. The right of private defence until fired upon and use of minimum force are the two important components exercised by all the state police personnel serving the country. Similarly, the 3( Three) hardcore and most wanted NDFB(S) were apprehended alive and produced before the Court of Law to give them a free and fair trial as per the Law. Today the entire region of Northeast is faced with militancy and the region has seen much bloodshed, many security personnel as well as the militants lost their lives, many widowed and much miseries to many families is the present scenario. The Government of India has initiated a new policy by inviting the militant outfits to negotiating table and is open for peace talks with a view to shun violence in the region. The ongoing peace process between the Government of India and NSCN (IM) is one such example which has drastically brought down the violence in the region particularly in the state of Nagaland.
- Your Message:
- In the first place, I would like to thank the Hon’ble President of the Republic of India, Dr, Pranab Mukherjee as well as my nominators for considering my achievement and contributions to the Society worthy of the Shaurya Chakra Medal. While I was fortunate enough to receive few awards in the past, this recognition from the GOI, MHA holds a special place in my heart for bringing in a sense of re-assurance that I have lived up to the ideals and values that Nagaland Police has imparted. I gratefully acknowledged the Hon’ble President of India for conferring this award to me on 6th April 2017 from Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi in presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri, Narendra Modi and many high ranking dignitaries. I also thank the Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri, Rajnath Singh for recommending my case to the GOI for the award. I would also like to thank the GON, the Home Minister, DGP Nagaland and SSP Kohima for placing the trust and confidence in my abilities to perform better in my assigned task and also for recommending me for this coveted SHAURYA CHAKRA award, although it is a common feature in Army and Central Paramilitary forces but very rare in the State Police are fortunate enough to receive.
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My sincere thanks to the Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland Shri, P.B Acharya and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Nagaland for your appreciations, recognition and recommendations. Under your able leadership, I have been bestowed with the Shaurya Chakra thus becoming the first Police Officer from Nagaland Police to be conferred with Shaurya Chakra after Nagaland achieved it’s Statehood. I take this opportunity to thank the Federal Government law enforcement agencies of India for their support and sharing of inputs leading to the goal that I was able to accomplish. I look forward to working with these agencies to make our Nation a better a safer place to live. This is a proud moment for me, my siblings and the many friends and well wishers. I do realize that, for me it should no less be a moment for silent introspection and for renewing my commitments to the ideals that have helped me grow intellectually and morally. And if at all I have to give a message to my fellow comrades, the men and women in Khaki serving the nation across the country, it would be to inculcate in oneself these three qualities ” COURAGE, DEDICATION AND PROMTNESS” to be an achiever and to do justice in your works. This award means a lot to me because it symbolises my dedication and recognition of my services as a public servant in protecting the interest of our Nation. Jai Hind and God Bless.
(By Ibankyntiew Mawrie — The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
Image: Contributed by Atu Zumvu