3-member panel to probe illegal sand mining in GB Nagar in UP

Amid the raging controversy over the IAS officer`s suspension issue, Centre on Wednesday constituted a three-member panel to probe allegations of illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar district in UP.

New Delhi/Lucknow: Amid the raging controversy over the IAS officer`s suspension issue, Centre on Wednesday constituted a three-member panel to probe allegations of illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar district in UP.

The committee headed by Dr Saroj, Director in the Environment and Forest Ministry, has been asked to submit its report by Friday after ascertaining the "factual position with a view to suggesting further course of action in the matter".

"Illegal mining has serious environmental and ecological repercussions," the ministry said, adding, during the last few days, various media reports have been highlighting the menace of alleged illegal sand mining in Gautam Budh Nagar.

28-eyar-old Nagpal, a 2010-batch IAS officer, was suspended on July 27 by the UP government ostensibly for ordering demolition of wall of an under-construction mosque.

Seeking to downplay a local intelligence report which said that Nagpal was not present during demolition of the wall, a senior UP minister said inquiry was going on and the truth would come out soon.

"An inquiry is being conducted and the truth will come out soon," UP Minister Brahma Shanker Tripathi told reporters in Lucknow.

The Local Intelligence Unit(LIU) report sent to UP government had claimed that wall of under-construction mosque was demolished in the presence of SDM Jewar and that Nagpal, SDM (Sadar), was not at the spot. Both Jewar and Sadar fall under GB Nagar.

The Akhilesh Yadav government, which has drawn flak for the suspension, has refused to revoke its decision and chargesheeted the officer.

Besides the LIU report, the District Magistrate, GB Nagar had stated in his report to the state government that Nagpal had not got the wall of any religious place demolished.

Meanwhile in Delhi, the over 4,700 strong IAS Officers` Association sought changes in rules including prior sanction of the Centre before any officer is suspended by the state government.

The association secretary Sanjay R Bhoos Reddy said a mandatory show cause notice should be served to an officer seeking his or her explanation within a specified timeframe before suspension.

Nagpal`s suspension has evoked sharp reaction from Opposition parties which alleged that she was removed for acting against the sand mafia. Nagpal is at present attached to the Revenue Board in Lucknow.

PTI

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