‘Durga Shakti not present when masjid wall was razed’

The government claims Gautam Buddh Nagar SDM's action had flared up communal tension.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Noida | Published: August 2, 2013 5:19:32 am

Durga Shakti Nagpal,the sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar who was suspended for reportedly razing the wall of a masjid in the Greater Noida area,was not present at the spot when the demolition began,sources claimed.

According to the sources,Nagpal arrived at the spot at Kadalpur village on July 27 half-an-hour after a police team arrived there. By then,the wall had already been brought down,they claimed.

Related: CM defends IAS officer’s suspension

The government claims her action had flared up communal tension but many believe she was punished for going after a sand mining mafia protected by senior politicians.

According to the sources,the initial information on the construction of the masjid did not come from the district administration but from police personnel of Gautam Buddh Nagar. “Local policemen had informed their seniors about the construction of the mosque. The information was then passed on to the district administration and a joint team went to inspect the spot. Nagpal was only present in her capacity as the SDM of the area,” a source said.

Sources said the wall was razed following discussions between the villagers of Kadalpur and officials from the administration and the police. “The villagers were angry but they admitted they had not taken permission from the state government. Other senior officials of the police and the state administration ordered that the wall be brought down. There were no protests and some villagers even helped clear the rubble. The wall had already been razed when Nagpal arrived. She advised the residents to take permission afresh,and then build the masjid,” a source said.

Rizwan Ahmad,a gram sabha member who was present at the spot,said,“Police arrived at the spot first. It is true that villagers were angry that the wall was being brought down. But there was never any chance of communal tension,as we understood their (the state administration) point of view. We had not taken permission as we did not know that we had to. We will take clearance soon. All members of the community,in fact,were urged to stay calm.”

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