A leaked letter has stirred the political pot in Nagaland and led to a flurry of speculation.

On June 25, the four-page letter surfaced, nine days after it was sent by governor RN Ravi to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. In the letter, Ravi had mounted a scathing no-holds-barred attack on Rio’s government.

The state government, he said, had been a mute spectator as “armed gangs” ran riot in Nagaland, carrying out extortion and committing violence. “The law and order in the state has collapsed,” Ravi claimed.

With the legitimacy of the Constitutionally-elected state government’s being “challenged on a day-to-day basis by the armed gangs who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation”, Ravi told the chief minister that he “could no longer abstain from constitutional obligations in the state under Article 371A (1) (b) of the Constitution”.

Article 371A (1) (b), which applies exclusively to Nagaland, bestows upon the governor “special responsibility with respect to law and order”. According to the provision, the governor, for all practical purposes, has the final say on all matters related to the state’s law and order and on what constitutes law and order.

Ravi then went on to “propose” that transfer and posting of officials above a certain rank involved in maintaining...

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