The general manager of the Northern Railway consequently issued the suspension order of senior divisional mechanical engineer (carriage and wagon) Swapnil Garg and coaching depot officer A K Mal through the divisional railway manager in Lucknow. The move was unprecedented for just a message was forwarded verbally through the railway's control message phone to suspend a Class-I officer. No formal letter was issued.
The reason of the suspension and the way it was executed rattled the railway bureaucrats. Garg, an officer of the join secretary-grade, had also received an award of excellence a few months ago.
The association of Group-A officers protested the move and a complaint was lodged with the Railway Board and the suspension order was withdrawn, again verbally. The association also shot a letter to the railway minister.
But what exactly happened on Tuesday? According to sources, the local railway authorities were supposed to add eight coaches to Kharge's saloon train but 10 were actually added, which made the minister's saloon a bit distant from its actual place of location. Garg, it was said, had visited Delhi to meet the chairman of the Railway Board on a leave and joined duty back on Tuesday morning before the minister's arrival. According to the authorities, Garg's absence was responsible for the 'fiasco' and it would be probed.
The Northern Railway general manager was not available for comment.