A senior Samajwadi Party leader with an axe to grind framed IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal and was later caught on camera boasting before a rally that he was responsible for getting her suspended, it has emerged.
Supporters of the Bhagat Singh Sena take out a March against the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Moreover, the perception of locals and colleagues that she is an upright and honest officer has been validated by a report submitted by Gautam Buddh Nagar district magistrate Ravikant Singh to the government.
A district administration official told HT that, a month ago, Nagpal had rubbed UP agro chairman and senior SP leader Narendra Bhati the wrong way by lodging an FIR against his close aide Omendra Khari in a sand mining case.
READ: The chain of events that led to IAS officer Durga's suspension
“Bhati was annoyed with Nagpal because of the action she took against Khari and because she did not protect his supporters involved in illegal sand mining,” the official said. “This is why he hatched a plot involving a mosque that never was and trapped her.”
Meanwhile, CM Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader Azam Khan continued to defend the decision to suspend Nagpal while Union minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy said the government will look into the suspension.
The official added that Bhati distributed Rs. 51,000 among residents of Greater Noida’s Kadalpur village and told them there was no need to take permission to build a mosque if the whole village wanted one.
READ: Got IAS officer Durga suspended within 40 minutes: SP leader Narendra Bhati
Once the villagers raised a wall, he got a verbal complaint registered with Nagpal that a religious building was coming up on government land and that it should be demolished as it could disturb peace in the area.
“Nagpal, after taking directions from the district magistrate and the police, reached the spot and asked the villagers to demolish the wall,” the official said, adding that the locals themselves had brought down the wall and there was no mosque that had come up yet.
READ: Centre seeks report, says will ensure justice to suespended IAS officer
Younus Khan, a villager, also told HT that it was Bhati who had encouraged locals to build a mosque on government land.
Bhati also lied to CM Akhilesh Yadav that Nagpal had demolished a mosque, prompting him to fear a religious backlash and suspend her immediately.
HC to hear PIL against Durga Shakti's suspension today
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad high court will on Friday hear a PIL against the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti’s Nagpal. Social activist Nutan Thakur had filed the PIL on Monday.
As per the petition, there is a serious problem of illegal sand mining and illegal religious constructions in public places all over the country. The Supreme Court had also issued strict instructions to put an end to both the practices.
In such situation, there is an urgent need to aid and support all such officers, including Durga Shakti, who take action against these violations and not to harass them, the petition read.
Thakur has asked the high court to direct the Centre as the cadre controlling authority of IAS officers to seek details about Nagpal’s suspension and quash it if found illegal and improper.
MORE: ‘Upright’ suspended IAS officer Durga just wanted to preserve environment