Embarrassed over his report on the demolition of an illegal boundary wall of an under-construction mosque, the UP government is likely to take action against Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Ravi Kant Singh.
The government had suspended the district sub-divisional magistrate Durga Shakti Nagpal for taking action against the alleged illegal structure. District magistrate (DM) Singh in his report over the SDM’s action had stated that villagers voluntarily brought down the wall and there was no tension in the area.
A senior state government official said the report has turned out to be a major embarrassment for the government. The state government was contemplating action against the DM within a day or two.
Reportedly the local intelligence unit (LIU) said the team led by SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal brought down the wall and its demolition led to widespread resentment among a community that might trigger communal violence in a sensitive district. The intelligence report was quoted by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav while defending his decision to suspend Nagpal.
Justifying the suspension of the SDM, Yadav told mediapersons to go through the LIU report before reaching any conclusion. The Samajwadi Party leaders immediately launched an offensive against the district magistrate demanding strict action against him for defending Nagpal.
Urban Development minister Azam Khan said the DM should be suspended for misguiding the state government. Party MP Naresh Agarwal too raised the demand for the suspension of the DM. Prominent Muslim clerics, including Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali and Arshad Madani also joined the chorus of demand for action against the DM. Maulana Khalid said Nagpal brought down the wall of the mosque at Kadalpur village only on the directions of the DM.
An appointment department officer said action against Singh would have followed immediately after the suspension of the SDM. But already under attack for suspending Nagpal, the state government did not wish to open another front.
Also, Singh had ‘connections with senior SP leaders’ that came to his rescue.