The state government of UP has reinstated Durga Shakti Nagpal, an Indian Administrative Officer, following her meeting with Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister. The meeting was also attended by Nagpal’s husband Abhishek Singh who happens to be an IAS officer as well. Rajiv Kumar, the principal secretary (appointment) has informed the media that she will be working with the state revenue board as of now and will be provided appointment in the next couple of days. The IAS officer who is a part of the 2010 batch was removed on 27th July. The main allegation against her was that she had not adhered to the proper process while destroying the walls of a mosque being built at a village named Kadalpur in Gautam Budh Nagar Area.
At that time she was operating as the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) at the Sadar area in Greater Noida. During the incident both Akhilesh and the ruling party received a lot of flak for the fact that she had been suspended. Many were of the opinion that she was penalized for the fact that she had been looking into the work of sand mafia that works near the Yamuna and Hindon rivers in the stated area.
On 29th August, 2013 RM Srivastava, the principal secretary (home), was entrusted by the Chief Minister to look into the matter as the inquiry officer and submit a report within a fortnight. Interestingly enough Srivastava is yet to complete the report. The UP CM had reasoned that Nagpal was removed from duty as what she did could have disrupted communal harmony in that place. As a result of the suspension there was widespread criticism of the ruling government that was accused of colluding with the sand mafia and also indulging in communal politics. Even though Nagpal is yet to comment on the issue of her reinstatement herself it was being speculated on 21st September that she may be brought back after all following the meeting with the CM.
Now there are a couple of questions and possibilities that spring up in this context. The first thought that comes to my mind is that was Nagraj guilty of sparking communal disharmony through her actions? If yes, then why was she reinstated? Is it because she knows a lot and was probably doing the right thing? Then by implication it would mean the accusations leveled at the UP government after her ouster were true. The next question that follows is will she be given a free reign to work by the present government? Coming to the present government if we assume that it made a mistake in sacking Nagpal then the first question or assumption would be why did it happen. This error too will place the ruling government in poor light. One thing is for sure – with the Nagpal issue the UP government may have swallowed a bitter pill or bitten off more than it could chew. We all, I think, will be waiting with anticipation as to what happens next.