Talking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Yadav said that a unilateral decision of the suspended officer could have led to communal trouble and government would in no way tolerate any such action that risks communal harmony in the state. "The government is within its right to suspend any errant official and we have done so in accordance to lay down norms," he added.

He rubbished charges that Nagpal was suspended under the pressure of the sand mining mafia. There was nothing in the matter that is even distantly related to illegal mining, the Chief Minister said while pointing out that in the past too, action had been taken by the government against all those involved in illegal mining.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who took on the sand mining mafia in Greater Noida (Gautam Budh Nagar), was suspended on July 28. The UP government has, however, cited a different reason for her suspension. It said she was suspended for ordering demolition of a wall of a religious place in Noida.

The Chief Minister also vented his anger at the lobbying by the IAS association in favour of the suspended official and reminded how the IAS officers were not even able to speak during the times of his predecessor Mayawati. "Everyone knows how officials were gagged during the BSP regime but we believe in openness and democracy," he added.

(Agencies)

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