An Indian Administrative Service officer, who had clamped down on illegal mining and resolutely taken head on the powerful sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh, has been suspended barely 10 months after she got her first posting in the state.
A 2009-batch IAS officer, who was posted as the sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar in September last year, Durga Shakti Nagpal, 28, was penalised ostensibly for the demolition of a wall at a disputed place of worship.
"It is an administrative decision. She had ordered the demolition of a wall at a place of worship," Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in a post on Sunday on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Nagpal on Monday met the officiating chief secretary and demanded revocation of her suspension order.
Nagpal was accompanied by members of the IAS association.
"We went to meet the chief secretary and demanded revocation of the suspension. He said he will look into it," said Secretary of the IAS association Parthsarathi Sen Sharma.
Officiating Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan said the matter would be placed before the CM.
Yadav is currently not in the state. He has gone to Bangalore, where he and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav are scheduled to address a rally.
Slamming the ruling government, Opposition parties alleged that the suspension order was made under pressure from the mining mafia. Reacting sharply to the SDM’s suspension, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalraj Mishra said that the action of the state government showed “it is not liking those officers who are leading drives against the mafia“.
“What mistake has she made?... It is not understood. But it is felt that she (Durga Shakti) was suspended under the influence of the mafia,” he said.
A senior official said, “Durga Shakti Nagpal, the 2009-batch IAS officer posted as SDM (Sadar) of GB Nagar, (was) suspended late on Saturday by the Uttar Pradesh government after a dispute related to a religious place,” a senior official said.
Nagpal had led a crackdown on unauthorised mining in the district and got over two dozen first information reports registered against those involved in illegally removing sand. Special flying squads were formed by her to stop the raging menace along the Yamuna and Hindon rivers in western UP.
Only last week the officer had asserted that there will be no let-up in the fight against unauthorised dredgers.
“The entire district has been affected and illegal mining has become a huge problem. The stakes are too high and those involved get huge monetary returns. The act could lead to serious environmental issues and, therefore, needs to be stopped,” she had warned.
A Punjab cadre IAS officer, Nagpal had led the seizure of 24 dumpers engaged in illegal quarrying last week, resulting in the arrest of 15 persons.