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.
The CPI(M) leader who is presently the vice-president of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) said that though the government has the full right to investigate whether there have been lapses in Nagpal's work, she disagrees with the suspension which was handed out right away.
Explaining that the number of female officers in the IAS is low, Karat said that Nagpal's work showed her strong commitment to her job.
"She was given responsibility as a female officer in an extremely difficult district where, according to reports, she has acted strongly against the sand mafia. To suspend an officer like her is absolutely wrong," Karat said.
"The sand mafia is the only ones who will be happy with this suspension," Karat added.
Durga Shakti Nagpal, 28, is the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh but was suspended on Sunday, less than one year after her first posting, for opposing an illegal building of a mosque on government property.
The young 2009-batch IAS officer came to limelight over her crackdown on the sand mining mafia, which ran rampant along the Yamuna and Hindon rivers in western Uttar Pradesh. According to reports, Nagpal had seized nearly 300 trolleys of sand being illegally mined from the Yamuna river bed.
However, the state government said removing Nagpal was an "administrative decision" as her decision to demolish the mosque could trigger communal tension, especially since it came during the month of Ramzan.
"Sometimes we have to take such decisions to prevent communal tension," said chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.