IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir Shah Faesal, who has been in limelight since topping the civil services exam in 2010, resigned Wednesday, protesting against the "unabated" killings in Kashmir and a "lack of sincere reach out" from the Union government. In a brief statement on Facebook, the 35-year-old said his resignation was also to protest "the marginalization 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 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." As soon as the news of his resignation spread on social media, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed Faesal to the political fold.
"The bureaucracy's loss is politics' gain. Welcome to the fold @shahfaesal," Omar tweeted. Reacting to social media posts which claimed that Faesal will join the NC in the coming days, Omar said he only welcomed the IAS officer to politics. 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. The outspoken officer had courted another controversy when he compared Article 35-A of the Constitution to a marriage deed between India and Jammu and Kashmir, saying if the constitutional provision granting special status to the state was scrapped, the marriage will be annulled.
"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 had tweeted. He had said the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India took place before the Constitution had come into force. The IAS officer, however, said continuing the special constitutional provisions with respect to the state did not pose any threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country. "Let's not confuse the issue. Sovereignty and integrity of India can't be challenged. Not at all. According to the rules, the resignation of Fesal will be forwarded by the state chief secretary along with vigilance status of the officer. The resignation will be considered by the Department of Personnel and Training.