UP govt suspends Muzaffarnagar ADM for spat with retired Army colonel over illegal construction at Noida residence

Noida/Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government said on Thursday that it has suspended Muzaffarnagar Additional District Magistrate Harish Chandra, who has had a spat with a retired Army colonel over an illegal construction at his residence in Noida. "Harish Chandra, who was posted as additional district magistrate (executive) in Muzaffarnagar, has been suspended," additional chief secretary Mukul Singhal told PTI.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The webpage relating to Chandra on the website of the state Department of Appointment and Personnel said, "Suspended and attached to Commissioner Chitrakoot Dham Division." Earlier on Thursday, Noida Authority demolished the illegal construction at Chandra's residence in Sector 29. "Two illegal balconies, an asbestos shed above a car garage and two temporary garages were removed from the plot in Sector 29 during an anti-encroachment drive between 6 am and 12 noon in the presence of authority officials and the police," an Authority official said.

"Removing encroachment is a continuous process for the authority. Whenever we are alerted about such construction or illegal developments, the authority takes action against it following due procedures," the official told PTI. Colonel (Retd) Virendra Pratap Singh Chauhan (76), who served in the elite 1 Parachute Regiment (Special Forces), had filed a complaint against the illegal construction some time ago with the authority as well as the police. Chauhan and Chandra live on the ground and third floor of the building respectively.

"The ADM was getting some construction done to convert his car garage, near my house, into a guest house. It was illegal and not permitted by the Noida Authority. I had raised objection against it because it was also obstructing the passage, sunlight and air flow into my house," Chauhan had said in the complaint. Chauhan had also claimed that Chandra previously served in the Noida Authority and used his influence to get the complaint overlooked.

The demolition comes two days after Chauhan was released on bail in a molestation case. He was arrested on 14 August after Chandra's wife in a police complaint alleged molestation and that the Army veteran hurled caste-based abuses at her. Chauhan had filed a counter-complaint from Luksar Jail, acting on which the Gautam Budh Nagar administration instructed the police to file a case of assault against the ADM and six others, including his wife, son and aides. During investigation, the CCTV footage of the 14 August incident emerged which purportedly showed the ADM and his family assaulting Chauhan. Subsequently the police arrested two people, including one of the ADM's gunners and his aide.

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 08:59:01 IST

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