Uttar pradesh govt launches drive against sand mafia
statesman news service
New Delhi, 5 August
The political hue and cry over IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal’s suspension notwithstanding, the Uttar Pradesh government has launched a drive against the sand mafia of the state from Saturday night. But UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav stuck to his guns by making it clear that his government was well within its right and had taken the correct decision regarding the action taken against the bureaucrat. Drawing an analogy between students reprimanded by parents and school authorities for making mistakes, the CM said ‘adhikari agar koi galat kaam karega to dandit hoga’ (any officer who does a  wrong will have to face punishment).
The officer concerned Durga Shakti Nagpal meanwhile reached the office of the UP Board of Revenue,  to which she has been attached, following her suspension to collect her charge sheet. This was handed over to her by the Chairman of the Board of Revenue.
The chief minister&’s analogy between an errant student and an erring officer was  made at a function held in the state capital on Monday. Unfazed by the all-round criticism of his government by the opposition parties over what they say is the victimisation of an officer who was doing her duty honestly and the growing demand that the suspension be revoked, the CM was firm that erring officers will have to face punishment.
Ms Nagpal was suspended on July 27 for pulling down the under-construction wall of a mosque in Kadalpur without adhering to the due process of law. The government held the act of the officer could have led to communal unrest. The opposition parties cried foul and said she was victimised because she had dared to take on the sand mafia of the area. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also written to prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh asking him to ensure ‘fair treatment’  to the IAS officer.