Hours after an additional sub-divisional magistrate protested at the Pratapgarh District Magistrate residence alleging “nexus of corrupt officials” in the district, the government suspended him on Friday over “indiscipline”.
“Prima facie, it is a case of indiscipline. Additional Sub-Divisional Magistrate Vineet Upadhyay has been attached with Revenue Board, Prayagraj for now. An inquiry will be conducted by Prayagraj Commissioner into the allegations against him,” a government spokesperson said.
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Upadhyay said that he had gone to the DM residence to raise some issues relating to corruption in the district. “I have been harassed because of a nexus of corrupt officers in the district… The issue started last November when I was posted as SDM (Lalganj) in Pratapgarh district. Last year September, I was a member of a three-member committee that probed illegal allotment of land by the previous SDM. We found a series of irregularities in the allotment of land in Lalganj subdivision. ADM (Finance and Revenue) Shatruhan Vaishya was involved in corruption and we had written this in our report,” said Upadhyay.
He added that he was also“pressured” to stop the probe into the allegations of corruption against a land mafia. “After we submitted the report last September, a public representative here, Pramod Tewari, put pressure on me to stop the ongoing probe against land mafia Devendra Mishra, who had acquired land in the name of running a school which did not exist there. He was running the school at a different location. I had records of all this, so they instigated a group of lawyers who got into a tiff with me one day. I tried to pull down the rifle of a home guard so that no one gets hurt. The lawyers, however, alleged that I was snatching the rifle. I had not held the rifle even for a second. A show-cause was issued to me by ADM (F&R) Vaishya over the issue that I had not behaved in a proper manner… He had malice against me and hence, a report was sent to the government for action against me,” said Upadhyay, 34, a 2015-batch PCS officer.
ADM Vaishya said, “When he (Upadhyay) was posted as SDM (Lalganj), he had an issue with lawyers. A writ petition was filed by lawyers in the High Court… In a video, it was said that he had snatched a gun from a guard. The Appointment Department and the High Court ordered a probe. I conducted the probe and found that the behaviour of the SDM was not according to the dignity of his post. A report was sent to the government, and he was asked for an explanation in the matter.”
Vaishya alleged that Upadhyay misbehaved with Pratapgarh DM Rupesh Kumar on Friday. “The moment the letter from the government reached him, he got angry… We, including DM and SP, were taking a round, and when we returned, he was sitting in the DM’s chamber…He was angry and said that a negative report was filed about him… DM sir said that he has an option to reply on the issue…”