J&K’s Shah Faesal quits IAS, likely to join NC

IAS officer Shah Faesal, who has been in the limelight since becoming the first Kashmiri to top the exam in 2009, resigned Wednesday, protesting the "unabated" killings in Kashmir and the marginalisation of Indian Muslims.

Faesal's resignation has come six months after the Jammu and Kashmir government initiated disciplinary action against him for a tweet on frequent rapes which was seen by the Centre's Department of Personnel and Training as his failure to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in discharge of duties. "Population+patriarchy+illiteracy +alcohol +porn+ technology+anarchy = rapistan," Faesal had tweeted, drawing the ire of the DoPT.

In a brief statement on Facebook, the 35-year-old said his resignation was also to protest "the marginalisation and invisiblisation of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of the state and growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hyper-nationalism".

Faesal, who recently returned from a foreign training and was awaiting posting, said he had decided to resign from Indian Administrative Service, "to protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach out from the Union government". Without naming it, Faesal launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre, saying the "subversion of public institutions like the RBI, the CBI and the NIA has the potential to decimate the constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped". "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 added.

Faesal, an MBBS degree holder, thanked his family, friends and well-wishers for supporting him in this "amazing journey in IAS. One of my important tasks hereafter will be (to) train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream."

While he remained silent about his future plans and said he would be addressing media on Friday to announce his next move, political sources indicated that he would be joining the National Conference and might contest the Lok Sabha elections from Baramulla parliamentary seat.

As soon as the news of his resignation spread on social media, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, "The bureaucracy's loss is politics' gain. Welcome to the fold @shahfaesal." Omar later added, "Actually I welcomed him to the fold of politicians. His future political plans are his to announce."