In what could leave the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government red-faced, Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension case has taken a new twist with the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board giving a clean chit to the IAS officer and the report by the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) revealing that she was not present when the demolition of the mosque wall took place.
The UP government suspended Durga Shakti Nagpal, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sadar of Noida, on 27 July on the basis of LIU and was chargesheeted for breach of peace by ordering the demolition of a mosque in Kadalpur village of Gautam Budh Nagar district.
Despite Congress president Sonia Gandhi writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure fair treatment of the officer, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav stuck to the decision by alleging that Durga's wall demolition order was a threat to communal harmony in the village. The CM said that "any officer who errs has to be punished."
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and father of Akhilesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, also said that his son was right and his decision was final. Akhilesh's uncle Ram Gopal Yadav also said that the Centre can recall all the IAS officers from the state, claiming that the state can run with their own officers.
However, the other side of the story has indicated that Durga Shakti Nagpal was a victim of a dirty political game.
The report released by LIU on 27 July to the UP government indicated that the SDM Sadar of Noida was not present when the demolition took place and that the action would in no way disturb communal harmony in the region.
"There was no possibility of communal tension pertaining to the demolition of an under-construction mosque wall in Greater Noida's Kadalpur village. Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Jewar Bachchu Singh along with police officer Wasim Khan had gone to halt the construction on government land as it was being built without due permission," said the report.
Interestingly, Bachchu Singh also denied demolishing the wall of the mosque.
"Kadalpur village does not come in Jewar division's jurisdiction. It comes under Greater Noida's Sadar division. I do not know where Kadalpur is located in Gautam Budh Nagar district. The LIU has made a huge error," Bachchu Singh told Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, the UP CM has directed Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate to transfer Bachchu Singh to Sadar division and let Anju Lata take his place in Jewar.
Delivering another blow to the UP government's stand that Durga's alleged actions could disturb communal harmony, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has praised the SDM and said she was the one who tried to reclaim the Waqf board land that was encroached upon, which angered the sand mining and land mafia.
In a letter to Akhilesh Yadav, copies of which were sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Kumar Ravikant Singh, the Wakf Board said that Durga didn't order the demolition of the mosque wall for which the state government has chargesheeted her.
"I am going to submit memorandum to the Prime Minister through the District Magistrate to reinstate Durga. She was only doing her duty and become a victim not only of sand mafia but also land mafia which has occupied Wakf land in the area. The Samajwadi Party is trying to make it political by saying demolition would have let to communal riots but it is a Muslim majority village so there is no question of riots," Kadir Khan, Secretary of the Hazrat Syed Bhureshah Committee, told CNN IBN.
Nagpal's suspension is being linked to illegal sand mining in Greater Noida which she tried to stop. A fine of upto ₹2 crore has been issued to those responsible for illegal mining since Nagpal was posted as SDM.
The move of the UP government outraged the public, forcing the UPA government to send three notices to the state government seeking information on the issue. And with more information relating to the issue surfacing over the last few days, the charge against the young officer seems to be orchestrated.
In another major setback for the state government, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday stepped in and ordered a stay on the suspension and action against Durga by the UP government. The SC intervened after petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma filed a public interest litigation (PIL) citing the ruling on 29 September, 2009, that directed officials to stop unauthorised construction in the name of of temple, church, mosque, gurdwara, etc on public places.
Now, the big question is whether Durga will get justice or remain a victim of another dirty political game.