India unites against Suspension of IAS Durga Shakti Nagpal

Durga Shakti Nagpal

The Suspension of Trainee IAS Officer Durga Shakti Nagpal has created a furore in the country. Support has started pouring in from Social Media and various political parties.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal came out in support of suspended Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by saying that the decision of the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) Government in Uttar Pradesh clearly suggests that politics and politicians are turning dirty. Mr. Kejriwal maintained that whistleblowers and honest officers are not allowed to do their job freely. “Whatever took place with Durgaji is extremely wrong. She was raising her voice and acting against the sand mafia, this was her duty. How many officers are there in the country who work honestly against corruption today? The government should be supporting these officers instead of suspending her,” he said.

Mounting pressure on the Akhilesh Yadav government, IAS officers in UP today rallied behind a woman colleague, who was suspended after she cracked down on the sand mafia, and demanded revocation of the order following which the chief minister promised to look into the issue.

As the issue snowballed into a major controversy, Akhilesh, who is on a visit to Karnataka, said in Chitradurga, “Once I get back (to Lucknow) tomorrow, I will look into the issue. There shouldn’t be any debate on suspension.” He was asked by reporters whether he would consider revocation of the suspension order.

28-year-old Durga Shakti Nagpal, a 2009-batch IAS officer from Punjab cadre, posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Gautam Budh Nagar, was suspended ostensibly for ordering demolition of wall of a mosque without following the legal process.

The IAS association today conveyed its serious concerns to the officiating chief secretary and demanded that the suspension order be immediately withdrawn.

Durga also accompanied the association members for the meeting with Alok Ranjan who said the entire matter would be put before the Chief Minister on his return from Bangalore.

“She is a young officer and many say this is a harsh decision. I will discuss this with the Chief Minister and order a full inquiry,” Rajan assured the officers.

“We went to meet the chief secretary and demanded revocation of the suspension. He said that he will look into it,” secretary of the IAS association Parthsarathi Sen Sharma said.

Opposition accused the ruling SP government of targeting honest officers at the behest of the powerful sand mafia.

Durga had clamped down on illegal mining and taken on the sand mafia in UP. She was suspended barely 10 months after she got her first posting in the state.

“SDM Nagpal has been suspended for getting wall of a mosque removed without following legal process in an unforesighted manner which affected the communal atmosphere,” a government spokesman had said here.