Even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav remained in a bind over the suspension of young IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, a PIL plea seeking revocation of the suspension order and Nagpal’s reinstatement was filed before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday.
The PIL filed by serial litigant Nutan Thakur also stated that a number of officers including those belonging to the IAS and IPS had faced disciplinary action for taking on the powerful sand mining mafia and that the court should issue the necessary directives to the state administration for initiating steps to check the illegal mining activities.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister, who returned home after a Karnataka visit, is learnt to have discussed the matter with his confidants. And till late on Tuesday, he didn’t take a clear decision on the issue, which resulted in the supporters and sympathisers of Nagpal taking to the streets in various parts of the state.
In fact, Nagpal is not the first officer to face the Chief Minister’s wrath for taking on the fly-by-night operators in the state. Senior IAS officer Himanshu Kumar had been shunted out from his post as Allahabad Commissioner following his tough stand against the mining mafia. The court had sought an explanation from the state government for Himanshu’s arbitrary transfer.
Before that, Gonda SP Navneet Rana was given an unceremonious exit following the crackdown on the cow smugglers. The sting operation carried out by the district police chief had found hard evidence against a Minister of State and Rana had sought action against the minister.
However,the CM did not take action against the minister and instead removed Rana. In Nagpal’s case, SP leaders led by minister Narendra Bhati were allegedly engaged in illegal mining and the IAS officer as SDM, Gautam Buddha Nagar had booked several illegal operators. A section within the SP perceived it as a challenge to its supremacy and was waiting for a chance to teach Nagpal a lesson.
In the interim, there was a dispute in Nagpal’s division when some locals started work on an illegal mosque and erected a boundary wall for it. As Nagpal got wind of this, she ordered that the wall be demolished immediately.
And the mining lobby in the SP, which had been gunning for Nagpal, told Akhilesh that the SDM’s actions had created communal tensions and hence she should be transferred.