Six days after she was suspended for taking on the powerful sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh, Durga Shakti Nagpal, the 28-year-old sub-divisional magistrate of Greater Noida, reached out to the state government on Friday to proclaim her innocence, possibly spurred by the massive outpouring of support she has got.
The matter reached the courts too with the Allahabad high court’s Lucknow bench issuing notices to the state and Centre on a PIL challenging Nagpal’s suspension.
The case will come up for hearing on August 19.
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Refusing to interfere in a matter “between the government and a public servant”, the court, however, observed, “We feel Durga Shakti Nagpal bravely exercised her jurisdiction in seizing 24 dumpers and stopping illegal mining in Noida. Fifteen alleged offenders have been arrested. She also formed special flying squads to check the menace of illegal mining.”
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From the state counsel, it sought to know what action had been taken to stop illegal mining so far.
Illegal sand mining rampant along the banks of the Yamuna. (Ajay Aggarwal/ HT Photo)
Nagpal was placed under suspension on July 27 for allegedly ordering the demolition of a mosque wall in Gautam Budh Nagar, an action the Akhilesh Yadav government had said was fraught with law and order problems.
But it later emerged the wall was brought down by locals, a fact they vouched for and the district magistrate upheld in his report.
Making matters worse for the state, local Samajwadi Party leader Narendra Bhatti publicly boasted he had got Nagpal transferred within 41 minutes.
VIDEO: Got Durga suspended in 40 minutes, boasts local SP leader
READ: Muslim group vows support to IAS officer Durga
On Friday, the 2009-batch IAS officer — currently staying at an army guest house in the city — met chief secretary Javed Usmani and secretary to the chief minister Anita Singh.
Sources said she made it clear she had no role in the demolition and sought an appointment with the CM.
Despite the beating its image has taken, the state government continues to stick to its stand.
According to sources, Meerut divisional commissioner Manjit Singh has submitted his probe report into Nagpal’s alleged role in the demolition case to the state and has been asked to prepare a charge sheet against her.
State urban development minister Azam Khan had on Thursday called for the district magistrate’s suspension too, accusing him of violating his service code by making his report public.