Gives clarification on decision to demolish wall of under-construction mosque

Suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday and gave clarification on her decision to demolish the wall of an under-construction mosque at Kadalpur village in Gautam Buddh Nagar district on July 27. Ms. Nagpal was suspended the same day even as it was alleged that she had paid the price for taking on the powerful sand mafia of Noida and Greater Noida.

Ms. Nagpal’s meeting with the Chief Minister may have paved the way for her reinstatement after about two months. She is presently attached to the office of the Board of Revenue in the State Capital. Official sources said Mr. Yadav was satisfied with her reply. The officer was accompanied by her husband Abhishek Singh, an IAS officer of the 2011 batch, currently posted as Joint Magistrate.

Confirming the development, a senior State official attached with the Chief Minister told The Hindu that Ms. Nagpal not only offered spashtikaran (clarification), but also apologised (maafi bhi maangi).

“He was moved”, the official said, adding that the suspended officer is likely to be reinstated in the next few days.

Ms. Nagpal’s suspension on the night of July 27 had caused a nationwide uproar with Opposition parties and social activists accusing Mr. Yadav of playing into the hands of the powerful sand mafia. The Government action was confirmed in a official release issued on July 28.

Samajwadi Party leader Narendra Singh Bhati had even claimed that he was instrumental in managing her suspension. Mr. Yadav had maintained that Ms. Nagpal’s ‘arbitrary’ action in demolishing the wall of an under-construction mosque had threatened to destroy communal peace. The Chief Minister’s decision to suspend her was supported by his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh, who had reportedly said that if action had not been taken communal violence would have erupted in Noida and other places.

The Central IAS Association took up Ms. Nagpal’s issue with the Union Ministry of Personnel, which refused to intervene in the matter. Writ petitions were filed in courts, which declined to intervene on the ground that plea had not been filed by the officer.

Ms. Nagpal was subsequently issued a 10-page charge sheet, which was based on the report submitted to the State government by the Meerut Division Commissioner. She was charged with not complying with the rules. The officer submitted her reply within the time frame stipulated in the charge sheet.

A fresh probe was ordered by the Chief Minister on August 29 with Principal Secretary (Home) R.M. Srivastava as the inquiry officer. Mr. Srivastava was given 15 days to submit his report.