Kashmir’s IAS topper Shah Faesal quits from service

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal on Wednesday said he had quit the coveted service to protest against unabated killings in Jammu and Kashmir and against the marginalization of Indian Muslims by Hindutva forces, “reducing them to second class citizens”.

Faesal made the announcement on his Twitter page as news of his decision spread.

“To protest unabated killings in Kashmir and the absence of any credible political initiative from Union government, I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter,” he said.


He said he would address a press conference on Friday.

After topping the civil service exam in 2010 held by the Union Public Services Commission, or UPSC, Faesal was allotted the home cadre of Jammu and Kashmir. He served as District Magistrate, Director of School Education and Managing Director of the state-owned Power Development Corporation.

He recently returned from the US where he had gone on a Fulbright fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah confirmed Faesal’s decision to join politics. Abdullah tweeted: “Bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold.”

Informed sources said Faesal was likely to join the National Conference and fight the Lok Sabha election from Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley.

The outspoken IAS topper also issued a detailed statement outlining the reasons for his decision.

He also got into trouble with the government for his posts on social media against frequent incidents of rape seen in the country.

Patriarchy+Population+Illiteracy+Alcohol+Porn+Technology+Anarchy = Rapistan!,” Faesal had tweeted in April over a story titled “Porn addict rapes 46 year old mom, arrested in Gujarat”.

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In August, he compared Article 35A of the Constitution to a marriage deed or ‘nikahnama’.

“I would compare Article 35A to a marriage-deed/nikahnama. You repeal it and the relationship is over. Nothing will remain to be discussed afterwards,” he said in a tweet.

“Let’s not confuse the issue. Sovereignty and integrity of India can’t be challenged. Not at all. But the Constitution has kept some special provisions for J&K state. It’s a unique arrangement. It isn’t a threat to India’s integrity at all,” he said.

With agency inputs