Even as the Uttar Pradesh Waqf Board asserted that the suspended IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal did not order the demolition of the mosque wall as claimed by the state government, senior minister Ahmed Hasan has asked the suspended official to apologise and said media and officials taking up her cause were harming their own credibility.
In a statement that expressed the unrelenting stand of the Samajwadi Party government over the IAS officer's suspension, UP minister Ahmed Hasan in the presence of Yadav and his cabinet colleagues said the issue was being "highlighted unnecessarily".
"Media is highlighting it. This issue is harming the credibility of media and officials," Hasan said during a launch of a government programme at the CM's residence.
He further added that a section of the media was creating unnecessary hype and a paper on Tuesday had even termed Nagpal as more popular than Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.
Nagpal is a young official who was suspended for demolition of a mosque's wall and she needs to apologise, the minister said.
Stressing that Nagpal had been suspended on the report of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) as she did not perform her duty, Hasan asked the IAS association to maintain its dignity.
Hasan also said that once the family to which Nagpal is revealed, all would know whom they had been backing.
Describing Akhilesh Yadav as a "decent" chief minister, he reminded the IAS officers and media of the previous government under which they were not even allowed to express their views.
The minister also attacked the central government for politicising the issue and defaming the state government.
They should understand the emotions of the people, he said adding that Noida is just adjacent to Delhi and the Centre could find out the facts themselves.
He also blamed the opposition of giving unnecessary importance to the issue.
Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav copies of which have also been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Kumar Ravikant Singh, the Waqf Board has said that the officer was trying to reclaim Waqf land, which angered the sand mining mafia active in the area.
A team of the committee connected to the Waqf Board visited Kadalpur, the village where the wall was demolished, after the incident and it has now said that Durga Shakti Nagpal had no role in bringing down the wall.
The report of the committee in fact praises Durga for beginning the process of reclaiming Waqf Board land which was allegedly encroached upon by the sand mining and land mafia