Durga Shakti Nagpal, the 28-year-old sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, who had cracked down on illegal mining of sand along the Yamuna and Hindon rivers, was penalised late on Saturday ostensibly for the demolition of a wall at a disputed place of worship in Greater Noida.
She has been suspended for taking on the sand mafia head on, just months into her assignment.
Nagpal had lodged two dozen FIRs against the sand mafia and arrested more than a dozen people after forming a special team to curb rampant illegal mining in her district, especially along the Yamuna and Hindon rivers.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav defended her suspension on Thursday saying action was taken against her for demolishing the wall of a mosque without consulting seniors and not for preventing illegal sand mining.
Read more: Akhilesh defends IAS officer's suspension
In an online poll HT did, about 96% people believe that Akhilesh Yadav's justification for suspending Durga Shakti Nagpal isn't fair.
Roughly 3% people believe that his justification for suspending her was correct, while only 1% of those who voted don't have an opinion on it.
(Total number of votes: 1446, till Friday 1am)
Poll question: Is Akhilesh Yadav's justification for suspending IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal fair and correct?
Here is how SP's decision was received in the political arena:
BSP leader Mayawati said, “The suspension of IAS officer Durga is one more step towards the deteriorating law and order in UP.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat has said the immediate suspension of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Durga Shakti Nagpal was uncalled for as it sends a 'distressing' message to other female aspirants to civil service in the country.
"The suspension sends out a distressing message to other female aspirates who are pursuing IAS. To suspend a female officer right away is extremely demoralising and incorrect," Karat said in New Delhi on Monday.
Congress spokesman Virendra Madan said that it was unfortunate that a young IAS officer had become victim of machination of Samajwadi Party supported sand mafia in Noida.
"Durga Shakti Nagpal has been suspended because she was cracking down on mining mafia hitting interests of many people, including some politicians," RLD state president Munna Singh Chauhan said on Sunday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also assailed government for suspending 'honest' IAS officer. BJP spokesman Manoj Mishra alleged that the young officer's suspension was a 'victory' for the mining mafia, who were worried at the bureaucrat's regular interventions.
"This government is busy targeting honest officers. Durga Shakti Nagpal was ostensibly suspended over a minor an issue as felling of a wall. If that is correct, then all top officials of the home department as well as DGP should be dismissed as there have been a series of communal riots in the state since this government took charge," said Mishra.
Support poured in for Durga on Twitter:
No one interested in real issues, media interest fleeting & politicos happy with short public memory & no accountability #DurgaShaktiNagpal— Urvashi Dev (@urvashidev) July 31, 2013
There is so clearly a nexus between the sand mafia (and many other mafias) and the UP Govt. Gunda Raj Zindabad! #DURGASHAKTINAGPAL— Vasudha Parmar (@vasudha01) July 31, 2013
Hope Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension gives rise to a movement which will empower IAS & IPS cadres against political thugs— Pinakin Munshi (@PinakinMunshi) July 30, 2013
I support Durga Shakti Nagpal— Atul O Agnihotri (@atul_agni) August 1, 2013
It happens only in India : Clean Chit for Raja Bhaiya . . Plans to Chargesheet Durga Shakti Nagpal...Wah UPA !!— Digvijay singh (@digvijay031) August 1, 2013
By defending decision to suspend IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, Akhilesh Yadav defends corruption.
— Premal Gameti (@premue83) August 1, 2013