Indian Administrative Service officer Durga Shakti Nagpal reached Kadalpur village at 2pm on July 27 following a complaint of illegal construction of a mosque on government land.
The Gautam Budh Nagar sub-divisional magistrate was going by the rule book, but apparently against the ruling Samajwadi Party’s chosen leader for the area and into a trap.
time she entered Kadalpur, UP State Agro Industrial Corporation Limited chairperson Narendra Bhati was making hectic calls to district magistrate (DM) Ravikant Singh and senior superintendent of police (SSP) Preetinder Singh.
Bhati, who enjoys cabinet minister rank and has already been declared as the SP candidate from Gautam Budh Nagar parliamentary seat for the next general elections, was telling the DM and SSP to halt the construction, but not raze the wall.
A day earlier, Gurjar leader Bhati had visited Kadalpur and given Rs. 51,000 for the mosque’s construction.
Nagpal asked the villagers to demolish the wall themselves. The 2010-batch IAS officer, who was breaking the back of the sand mafia in the district, was suspended the same evening.
Bhati has since claimed he got Nagpal suspended, but denied it had anything to do with her crackdown on the sand mafia.
A Greater Noida official who knows how Nagpal’s actions were hurting Bhati have a different side of the story.
A month back, she reportedly refused to entertain his request of not lodging an FIR against local leader Omendra Khari. Khari, said to be close to Bhati, had allegedly backed out after winning an auction of seized sand by authorities worth Rs. 8 crore.
“Bhati planned this mosque plot, and trapped Nagpal,” said an official who did not want to be named. “He gave the money and told villagers there was no need to take permission to build a mosque. Once the villagers built the wall, someone complained to Nagpal, who acted in accordance with the law.”
According to another government official, the CM chief minister had earlier turned down Bhati’s request to transfer Nagpal from Greater Noida. “However, when Bhati informed the CM about Nagpal demolishing a mosque, he ordered the suspension in a hurried manner,” said the official.
The information about Bhati having tried to get Nagpal transferred earlier could not be independently confirmed.
Bhati rubbished the trap theory. “The day Nagpal reached the site, I was talking to the DM and the SSP on the mobile phone. They promised that only construction of the mosque would be stopped, nothing more. But on the contrary, the DM ordered demolition of the wall. Therefore, the DM also should be punished for his action.”
He added, “After the demolition, I was the one who told chief minister Akhilesh Yadav about the facts. He took the right decision because Nagpal’s action could have disturbed peace.”
Bhati also slammed the DM for reportedly defending her in his report. “I have come to know that the DM, in his report, claimed Nagpal did not demolish any religious building wall, which is untrue and not based on facts. The UP government has appointed a probe committee to look into DM’s report.”
Nagpal, who has found support from the UP IAS association, could not be reached for comment.