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Kashmir’s IAS topper resigns to protest ‘unabated killings’

Kashmir’s IAS topper resigns to protest ‘unabated killings’
Shah Faesal (File)
New Delhi, Jan 9 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/9/2019 11:24:45 AM IST

Shah Faesal, the outspoken IAS topper whose success inspired many young Kashmiris to join the civil services, announced on Wednesday that he has decided to resign from the government and join electoral politics. Faesal, 35, attributed his decision to protest what he described as “the unabated killings in Kashmir and absence of any credible political initiative from Union Government”.

“I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter,” Faesal said in a Facebook post that was severely critical of the central government.

Faesal, a 2010-batch IAS officer, was the first Kashmiri to top the civil services examination held by the Union Public Services Commission, or UPSC. His appointment was then seen to reflect the changing mindset of Kashmiris.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Faesal, however, said he will announce his plans on Friday. He is expected to join the National Conference and contest the Lok Sabha polls from Barmulla in north Kashmir.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah welcomed Faesal to politics.

“The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold @shahfaesal,” Abdullah tweeted.

Abdullah refrained from outlining any more details, saying Shah Faesal’s “future political plans are his to announce”.

Omar Abdullah has supported Shah Faesal on social media more than once, particularly when Faesal was trolled for his blunt remarks. He was as scathing in his Facebook post announcing his decision to resign.

“I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy,” he wrote.

Faesal, from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, got into trouble with the government last year and was issued a show-cause notice for tweeting a comment on a story of a man raping his mother.

“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”.

In August last, he said repealing of Article 35A of the Constitution would end Jammu and Kashmir’s relationship with the rest of the country. “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.

Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

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