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Jul 31, 2013 at 06:09pm IST

IAS officer Durga's action could've led to riots: UP minister

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav justified the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by making a startling statement that her actions could have led to communal riots in the area. The IAS officer, who had cracked down on sand mining mafia, was suspended for allegedly demolishing the wall of a mosque in Gautam Budh Nagar's Kadalpur village.

But on Wednesday, Yadav - the younger brother of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav - blamed Nagpal of not being sensitive towards the religious sentiments of the people of the village. "No one had any problem with the mosque, she (IAS officer) unnecessarily demolished the wall. After the demolition there was a riot-like situation in the village. If irregularities are found in our officers' work, action will be taken against them," the SP leader said on Wednesday.

ALSO SEE Sand mafia kills one in Noida, SP leader mocks suspended IAS officer

Politics has been playing out over the IAS officer's suspension with the opposition parties alleging that the sand mining mafia is behind Nagpal's suspension. Another SP leader, earlier in the day, mocked the IAS officer's suspension saying "everyone has a right on the natural resources".

"Ram naam ki loot hai loot sako to loot (You are allowed to loot in the name of Hindu god Ram)," Khan said in Rampur on Wednesday.

ALSO SEE You can loot in lord Ram's name: SP leader Azam Khan on IAS Durga case

This even as a man was shot dead by alleged mafia in Noida. Police said three motorcycle-borne men shot the man, Mangeram, dead in Sector 39, Noida. Mangeram's family has filed an FIR and alleged that he was killed by the sand mafia as he was fighting the sand mafia in the area and had filed a complaint against them a few days back.

Nagpal, during her tenure as the sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, had cracked down on the sand mining mafia. She had recently seized 24 lorries involved in illegal mining and form April to June, under her watchful eye, the mining department impounded 297 vehicles and collected a fine of over Rs 80 lakh.

But she was suddenly suspended with the state government claiming that she had mishandled a communally sensitive situation in the district. The state administration says the process of chargesheeting the officer will be as per law. The chargesheet is not the same as the police file after an FIR as she has no case against her; it is simply an administrative procedure.

According to the Uttar Pradesh government, it is only after she is served a chargesheet, can Nagal give an official explanation of her actions. The UP government further claimed that any decision on the IAS officer's future will be taken only after receiving her response.

Even the IAS association claimed she is being punished for taking on the sand mining mafia. All India IAS Association Secretary Sanjay Bhoos Reddy has demanded that SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal's suspension be revoked as such action will demoralise other officers. Speaking on a chargesheet to be filed against Nagpal, he said, "The government can review at any stage to revoke the order, no need to go through the chargesheet route."