Sunday, August 4, 2013

Will go by rules, says PM after defiant UP government chargesheets IAS officer ... - NDTV

Lucknow: "There are rules and rules will be followed", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said on the controversial suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, hours after a defiant Uttar Pradesh government slapped a chargesheet accusing the officer of flouting norms and lacking administrative acumen.

The Prime Minister been asked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday to "ensure that the officer was not treated unfairly."

Dr Singh said on Monday: "There are rules laid down and the rules will be followed. We are in touch with the state government to get the details of the case." The comment is set to intensify the Centre's row with Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party, which has threatened to stall the UPA government's flagship Food Security Bill in Parliament over the controversy.

Durga Shakti Nagpal was shunted out on July 27 as the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar hours after she asked villagers to pull down the wall of the mosque. The ostensible reason was fear of "communal tension", but Ms Nagpal's supporters allege she was victimized for her crackdown on the illegal sand mining mafia.

Defying the flood of outrage, the Uttar Pradesh government in its chargesheet accused the 28-year-old officer of lacking foresight of the consequences of the demolition and lacking administrative acumen.

The state government's chargesheet said Ms Nagpal should have first served notice and sought an explanation before bringing down the wall. It said she jeopardized communal harmony in the area, especially due to the holy months of Ramzan and Saawan.

The chargesheet cited the report of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU), which NDTV has accessed. The LIU report said Ms Nagpal, along with a Circle Officer, went to the site and supervised the demolition - though the district magistrate had said the officer never ordered the demolition. It also said villagers were planning a Panchayat meet to decide what to do next, hinting at signs of trouble.

Ms Nagpal has been asked to submit her reply in 15 days to an inquiry officer.  The UP government sent both its chargesheet and a letter to the Centre late last night.

The SP reacted sharply to Sonia Gandhi's letter, seen as a veiled indictment of the UP government. It asked why the Congress chief hadn't written a similar letter when a senior IAS officer in Haryana who was shunted out after he alleged irregularities in land deals involving her son-in-law, Robert Vadra.
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