Row over Durga Shakti Nagpal intensifies between UP govt, Centre

Unmindful of the criticism coming its way over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, the Samajwadi Party remained resolute on Monday against any re-look.

Zee News Bureeau

New Delhi/Lucknow: Unmindful of the criticism coming its way over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, the Samajwadi Party remained resolute on Monday against any re-look.

Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav minced no two words when he firmly ruled out any possibility of her suspension being revoked. He asserted that Akhilesh government’s decision was “correct and final””.

"If the government had not taken a decision it would have been a problem," Yadav told reporters outside Parliament.

Yadav seniors support came hours after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav stressed that Durga was suspended on solid grounds, implying that the question of a relook does not arise.

“If an officer makes a mistake, he/she is punished. This is how a government works,” he said.

“When we (SP govt) take a decision entire media is after us, in the past so many SDM`s have been suspended,”” he said.

Taking a dig at his predecessor Mayawati, the Chief Minister claimed that IAS officers who move freely today used to take off their shoes before meeting her. “Several officers were also suspended during Mayawati`s tenure," he pointed out.

Akhliesh’s uncle and Rajys Sabha MP, Ram Gopal Yadav, was also in combat mode. “If this undue pressure continues (from the Centre), my government will write to the Centre to take back all IAS and IPS officers, we will continue with state officers,” he said.

The angry reaction from the Samajwadi Party leaders came even as parties across the political divide professed support to Durga Shakti.

Speaking on the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “There are rules laid down. They will be followed. We are in touch with the state government to get details of the case.”

Importantly, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure fair treatment for Nagpal and stressed need for safeguards to protect officials "working to uphold rule of law".

Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said that under the rules, the suspended officer has the right to appeal.

"She has not approached us so far. But if she sends her appeal to us, we will send its copy to the state government and seek its response. Then we will decide the future course of action.

Normally, an officer approaches the state government... We cannot act suo moto," he said.

SP`s arch rival and BSP supremo Mayawati used the suspension row to lash out at the state government. "A lot of injustice has been done to the IAS officer who has been suspended and chargesheeted," she said.

"There is no law and order in the state. Instead, it is ruled by mafia and anti-social elements....It has drastically failed in matters of law and order," she said

Nagpal, the 28-year-old SDM of Gautam Budh Nagar, who led the crackdown on sand mining mafia in her district, was suspended on July 27 ostensibly for ordering demolition of a wall of a under-construction mosque allegedly without following the due process. Nagpal, who belongs to the UP cadre, was chargesheeted on Sunday.

The centre had also officially sought reply from the state government. The defiant state government responded by slapping a chargesheet on the officer accusing her of lacking administrative acumen and foresight and risking communal harmony during the holy month of Ramzan.

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