The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday came out with a bizarre defence for the government's decision to suspend IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who had taken on the sand mining mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar.
Senior ministers Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav chose to defend the decision even as support poured in for Nagpal from within and outside the state.
In a bizarre defence of the sand mafia, Khan said that no one could be grudged for taking advantage of 'nature's bounty'
"Ram naam ki loot hai loot sako to loot lo(You are allowed to loot in the name of lord Ram)," IBN-Live quoted Khan as saying in Rampur while speaking on the suspension of Nagpal.
Nagpal was suspended for ordering the demolition of a wall around a mosque in Kadalpur village of Greater Noida. The wall was on gram sabha land and she ordered the demolition in accordance with a Supreme Court order not to allow any unauthorised religious structure on public land. However, while suspending her the state government said it could have caused communal tensions, despite the fact that there was no report of tension due to her actions.
PWD minister and uncle of the Chief Minister, Shivpal Yadav said that if they had not intervened then there would have been riots in the state.
"The owner of the land where mosque was built had no problem, still the SDM got it demolished. There would have been riots if we did not act," Yadav said.
If officers are negligent then we will act against it, he said.
The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to file a chargesheet against Nagpal. CNN-IBN reports that the filing of a charge sheet is an administrative process so as to issue a show-cause notice to Nagpal, who can then respond to the inquiry panel.
Under increasing pressure to revoke the suspension, CM Akhilesh Yadav had earlier said he would review the decision today. There has been no word on his decision so far.
Nagpal, who had clamped down on illegal mining and taken on the powerful sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh, had been suspended on Monday, barely 10 months after she got her first posting in the state.
With PTI inputs