The Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate in Uttar Pradesh who gave suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal a clean chit was shifted out late Tuesday evening.
The action comes exactly a month after Nagpal had been unceremoniously suspended by the state government, ostensibly for ordering the demolition of a mosque wall, though widely believed to be because she opposed the sand quarrying mafia.
The DM, Kumar Ravikant Singh, has not been given any charge yet. He has been replaced by Hiralal Gupta, till now the DM of Unnao, who is expected to take over today.
The immediate reason for the transfer is being attributed to the violence that broke out during a demolition drive in the district on Tuesday. But, in fact, Singh's backing for Nagpal had embarrassed the state government.
Meanwhile, sources in the Uttar Pradesh government have denied that Nagpal's reinstatement was imminent. A top official said in Lucknow that the revocation of the young sub-divisional magistrate's suspension was "still being examined".
There has been talk that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has in principle decided to revoke the suspension after the UP government accepted Nagpal's response to a chargesheet. Nagpal, 28, had led a crackdown on the sand quarrying mafia in her district which, it is believed, led to her suspension.
Samajwadi Party leaders had at the time sought action against Singh for claiming in a report that the 2010-batch officer did not demolish any religious building or wall.