Maintaining that action was taken against Durga Shakti Nagpal to 'teach her a lesson' for acting against the sand mafia, an Indian Police Service body has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to ensure justice to the young Indian Administrative Service officer.
Expressing solidarity with the officer, the national association of the IPS civil servants, in a two-page letter to Yadav, termed the action against her as "autocratic" and "arbitrary".
The all-India association, with more than 4,000 IPS officers as its members, has requested the state government to "immediately reinstate her". "The recent suspension and handling over of charge sheet to Ms Durga Shakti Nagpal, IAS, then posted as Sub-Judicial Magistrate Gautam Budh Nagar, in an autocratic and arbitrary manner is a case for strong concern amongst all the officers of the police and administration across the country.
"The central IPS association takes strong exception in the manner in which the basic norms of governance were sidetracked and the IAS officer placed under suspension without giving her an opportunity to offer her explanation in line with principles of natural justice before taking such an action," the IPS(central) association said.
"The background of the events leading to her suspension and what is being reported in the print and electronic media make very distressing reading.
"The apparent allegations of her having demolished a wall belonging to a religious community have been shown as false and baseless in the report of the district magistrate of the same district.
"It has been reliably learnt from various sources that there was no communal tension or the possibility of law and order situation breaking out which led to the suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal," association secretary Pankaj Kumar Singh said in the letter.
"The reports circulating these days clearly show that this extreme action was taken in order 'to teach the SDM a lesson' as she has cracked down on the sand mining mafia activities for the last six months and had shown utter disregard for criminal and mafia elements and had boldly taken action by lodging first information reports, slapping fines and seizing trucks involved on this illegal activity.
"The central IPS association requests the honourable chief minister to look into this grave matter in a fresh perspective, collect all facts and ensure that justice prevails." The association said that Nagpal "should be immediately reinstated which will go a long way in restoring confidence among the officers in administration that sincerity, dedication and an impartial work ethic will be acceptable to all while dedicating oneself to the service of the society and the nation".
The IAS association has already made similar representations to the government.