While the Uttar Pradesh Government mulled over the move to revoke the suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal, the District Magistrate (DM) of Gautam Buddh Nagar , K. Ravikant Singh, was shunted out late on Tuesday night. Ms. Nagpal, who was suspended for ordering the demolition of the wall of an under-construction mosque in Kadalpur village in Greater Noida on July 27, was reportedly given a clean chit by him in his report submitted to the State Government, three days after her suspension sparked off a nationwide outcry.
Ms. Nagpal was served a chargesheet on August 4 and in her reply she has reportedly denied all the charges.
Official sources said Mr. Singh has been waitlisted. He has been replaced by the Unnao DM, Hira Lal Gupta. In a minor, albeit crucial administrative reshuffle, the Muzaffarnagar DM, Surendra Singh, was also moved and placed on the waiting list. Mr. Singh, who has been replaced by the Special Secretary, Infrastructure and Industrial Development Department, Kaushal Raj Sharma, has ostensibly been transferred for his failure to control a communal outbreak in a village in Jansath in Muzaffarnagar on Tuesday, where three were killed.
Among the other transfers, the DM of Mainpuri, Vijay Kiran Anand, too has been waitlisted. The Special Secretary, Vinod Kumar Panwar, is the new DM of Mainpuri, which is represented in the Lok Sabha by the Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar DM’s transfer order and those of other officers were issued after midnight on Tuesday. Though reasons for Ravikant Singh’s transfer have not been made official, sources said the decision to shunt out the DM was taken immediately after the Government posted Ms. Nagpal’s husband Abhishek Singh (an IAS officer of the 2011 batch) as Joint Magistrate of Jhansi.
In his report to the Government, the former Gautam Buddh Nagar DM reportedly said that the demolition of the mosque wall in Kadalpur village was not ordered by Ms. Nagpal, who was the then Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Sadar in Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Justifying her suspension, the State Government had claimed that the SDM’s arbitrary decision threatened to spoil the communal peace.
What seems to have spurred the Government to transfer the Gautam Buddh Nagar DM was the outbreak of violence and arson in Sorkha village in Sector 49 of Noida on Tuesday. Three constables were injured in incidents of stone pelting by the villagers protesting the measurement of land in the village. A jeep of the Mahila Police was torched by the irate mob.