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Amid brouhaha, suspended IAS officer quietly reports to revenue board

Suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal on Tuesday reported to the Board of Revenue here on Tuesday.

lucknow Updated: Jul 31, 2013 11:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal on Tuesday reported to the Board of Revenue on Tuesday.

The 2010-batch officer, who was attached to the board after her suspension as the sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar, kept it a hush-hush affair to avoid the media, sources said.

Her cell phone was found to be switched off the whole day.

“She came to the board office around 4pm, met chairman Jagan Mathews and left shortly afterwards,” the sources told Hindustan Times.

On the other hand, the suspension of the young officer, who was cracking down on the sand mafia, was keenly discussed with different officers interpreting it differently.

“The officer may have been a bit rash in razing the wall of a religious place, but the government could have taught her a lesson by shunting her out. The suspension could have been avoided since she had just begun her career,” said a senior IAS officer, adding, “We must not lose sight of the fact that she is a young IAS officer and we all used to be rash and full of zeal when we joined the service.”

But justifying her suspension, another IAS officer said her action could have flared up communal tension in the state.

“She should not have bulldozed the wall of an under-construction place of worship even if the construction was illegal,” he said, adding, “She should have first served a show-cause notice on the parties concerned instead of demolishing the wall outright.”

He claimed the officer’s crackdown on the sand mafia had nothing to do with her suspension. “She had been launching the drive against the sand mafia, seizing their dumpers and lodging FIRs for over a month,” he said and asked: “Can any officer do this for so long without the government’s support?”

However, sources close to Nagpal claimed the crackdown on the sand mafia had hit the interests of a local Samajwadi Party leader’s brother and this was the main reason for her suspension.

“The SP leader called up the CM secretariat at night and blew the ‘wall razing issue’ out of proportion. Claiming that her action could spark off communal riots in the region, he got her suspended,” said an official posted in Ghaziabad and close to Nagpal.

He said that it was also wrong to call the wall a place of worship.

“How can a wall become part of a place of worship unless the entire structure is in place and prayers are offered there ?” he questioned and insisted that it was simply a structure coming up on public property in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

“It also important to note that a Muslim CO was with Nagpal on the spot in the village and was equally responsible for demolishing the wall.”

Nagpal, originally from the Punjab cadre, shifted to UP cadre after she married an IAS officer Abhishek Singh from UP.

First Published: Jul 31, 2013 11:44 IST