Did IAS officer Durga Nagpal crusade against sand mining?

Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 20:11

Lucknow: Was suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal`s fight against the sand mining mafia a media hype? A confidential report from the mining department to the Uttar Pradesh government suggests so.

According to the report, the sub-divisional magistrate`s actions were but a fraction of the state`s offensive against illegal mining.

The document, a copy of which is with a news agency, says that since her posting in Noida Sep 6 last year, Nagpal was responsible for five raids against gangs taking out sand from the river beds illegally.

Media reports since her controversial suspension last month have said that the officer led hundreds of raids to check illegal mining, forcing a cornered mafia to pull political strings to have her suspended.

Nagpal, who could not be reached for comments, was suspended last month and attached to the revenue board.

A senior official told the agency that during her 10-month tenure, Nagpal led only five of the 112 raids against the mining mafia in Noida.

Six raids were conducted jointly by the Indian Administrative Service officer and the mining department. Eighty-six raids were credited to the mining department.

Of the 18 first information reports (FIRs) lodged against illegal mining and miners, only two were lodged by Nagpal, nine by the mining department, two after joint raids and five by other departments.

Officials in the state government told the agency that these figures contradicted charges that Nagpal was eased out of Noida because she took on the illegal miners.

"Her suspension was done as she acted in an immature manner while ordering the demolition of an under-construction boundary wall at a mosque in a Noida village," an official said. Nagapl has denied the charge.

The report submitted to the government also details that of the total 512 vehicles seized in the last 10-odd months, only 11 were impounded by the suspended official.

Of the remaining, 413 vehicles were seized by the mining department, 35 in joint operations by Nagpal and the mining department and 53 by other agencies, including the police.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told the agency earlier this week that the officer was suspended only on grounds that her action imperilled communal harmony.

"I have all through maintained that the suspension had nothing to do with illegal mining. My government is committed to act against the mining mafia," he said.


First Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 20:11
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