New Delhi: The Centre has stepped in and has assured giving a fair chance to suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, saying it will not go by the Uttar Pradesh government's report alone. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy said that the government will also hear what Durga has to say.
"We will not go by the state government report alone. We will assess the situation, we will hear the officer. We will hear the state government and then we will come to a judicious conclusion," Narayanasamy said.
When asked if the probe would be fair considering the importance of the Samajwadi Party's support to the government, Narayanasamy said the rule book will be followed. "When it comes to the question of officers, politics does not come. They may be supporting us from outside, but that doesnot mean that we will blindly do everything. We will go by the rule book as far as that officer is concerned," Narayanasamy said.
The All India IAS Officers Association had on Thursday met Narayanasamy and submitted a memorandum saying that her suspension be revoked. "As per the existing law, Centre can intervene in the matter. We will ensure that Durga Shakti gets justice," said IAS body's Sanjay Bhoos Reddy.
However, the UP IAS Association has refused to lobby on her behalf with the Centre. This came after the Samajwadi Party government hardened its stand against the suspended bureaucrat.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had on Thursday defended the suspension of Durga Nagpal. He had also refuted allegations that her suspension was connected with the mining mafia and that there was pressure to act against her. "The issue for the action taken was not mining, we are against illegal mining, this was not the case here," Akhilesh said.
Akhilesh maintained that the decision to suspend Durga was in the interest of maintaining communal harmony in the region. "Some Muslim families had collected money to build a mosque, a wall was built and it was brought down. This is not acceptable. The officer is equally responsible for maintaing peace and harmony in the area. Let the officer put forward her side, she will get the chance," Akhilesh said.
This came even as the Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate report said that Durga did not order the demolition of a portion of the mosque as alleged by the Uttar Pradesh government, according to sources. It says she merely told villagers to follow the Supreme Court guidelines. According to sources, the District Magistrate's report also says no tension erupted in the area at the time of her presence at the spot.
But the District Magistrate may also now have run in trouble for the report. The Samajwadi Party now wants the Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate suspended for saying Durga didn't order any demolition. Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal hit out at Durga saying, "No IAS ever gives a negative report against another IAS. The DM should also be suspended for saying that Durga didn't bring down the mosque."
Demanding an FIR against Durga, Agarwal said, "I don't know what kind of training is given to IAS officers. They don't know ground realities and become dictators. The government should be even more strict and file an FIR against Durga."