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IAS Topper Shah Faesal Resigns to Protest 'Unabated Killings' in Kashmir, Will Join Politics

According to sources, Faesel is likely to join the National Conference and may contest the 2019 election from Baramulla constituency.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com

Updated:January 10, 2019, 11:00 AM IST
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Srinagar: Shah Faesal, an IAS officer who topped the UPSC exam in 2010 and the first to do so from Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday announced that he is quitting government service to protest “unabated killings” in the state and will join electoral politics.

According to sources, Faesel is likely to join the National Conference and may contest the 2019 election from Baramulla constituency. Reacting to the speculations on Twitter, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah "welcomed" Faesal to the political fold on Wednesday.



Faesal recently returned to India from a stint as a Fulbright fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He arrived in Kashmir last week, following which, it is said, he decided to resign.

Hailing from Lolab — a picturesque valley in the frontier district of Kupwara — the 35-year-old was a doctor before qualifying for civil services exams.

His father Ghulam Rasool Shah, a government school teacher, was killed by militants when Faesal was in school. Raised by his mother, Mubeena Shah, who is also a government school teacher, the family moved to Srinagar where he qualified medical exams. He graduated from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science, Srinagar.

Faesal said that he has decided to join politics “to protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government”

“The marginalization and invisiblization 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 J&K State and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hypernationalism. I have decided to resign from Indian Administrative Service,” he said in a statement.

While lashing at the NDA government, Faesal wrote: “I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and 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,” Faesal said.

He thanked family, friends and well-wishers for their support, adding that his one of the important tasks will be to “train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream.”

Faesal has been criticizing the national media every now and then. In 2016, he asked news channels to not use his picture for drawing a comparison with militant commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in July 2016.

He was in controversy again last year for his social media posts and a notice was also served to him for a post on social networking website.

“My objective was to highlight the lack of freedom of expression of government employees,” he had told News18.

Faesal was currently posted as additional secretary to the state tourism department. Earlier he served in Power Development department and was director School Education and district development commissioner.

Last year he expressed anguish over a section of national media for their criticism to the election of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Taking to social networking site twitter Shah wrote: “India is being shamed (internationally) by (a section of) Indian media. The neighbouring country has elected a new PM, he is talking about reconciliation, he is talking about change, but the loudmouths on this side are ranting to ensure that the hostilities continue. Unfortunate.”



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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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