“Quit IAS To Protest Injustice Against Kashmiris,” Says Shah Faesal

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Shah Faesal announced his decision to quit the civil services in a Facebook post.

Srinagar:

Kashmiri IAS topper Shah Faesal today termed his resignation from the civil services as a "small act of defiance" aimed at reminding the central government of its responsibility towards the state. "I will always be a proud former member of the service, but the right to life of the Kashmiri youth should be respected. I am doing this to protest the denial of justice to my fellow-Kashmiris and the lack of political initiative in the state," he said at a press conference in Srinagar.

Mr Faesal had quit the service on Wednesday, with reports hinting that he may be joining former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's National Conference. He announced his decision in a Facebook post, stating that it was in protest against the "unabated killings" in Kashmir and the "marginalisation of Indian Muslims".

Maintaining that it was time to reimagine politics in Jammu and Kashmir, the former IAS officer said he will try to build a consensus and try to reach out to the youth of the state before taking any decision on joining a party. "I will be very happy to fight the next parliament elections," the former IAS topper said. "I will listen to youngsters and meet the stakeholders."

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The former civil services official also criticised the BJP government's alleged attack on the state's "special position and identity", and said that it was indulging in such activities for electoral gains in the rest of the country. "The rise in lynch mob nationalism in our country dejects me. Also, attempts are being made to pit one region of the state against another," he told reporters.

Mr Faesal cracked the Union Public Service Commission examinations in 2010, but kept a low profile in the years that followed. During the 2016 Kashmir unrest, he asked media organisations to stop drawing comparisons between him and Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani.

During the press meet, he accused the Narendra Modi government of promoting the "culture of intolerance" while placing curbs on free speech and undermining central institutions such as the Central Bureau of Investigation. "Earlier, I was not allowed to speak on these issues due to the civil services rules of conduct. Today, I am relieved at being allowed to do so," Mr Faesal said, adding that he was expecting support from youngsters across the state.

The former IAS officer said he is inspired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in politics, but the situation is completedly different in Kashmir. He also slammed the central government for failing to ensure the homecoming of Kashmir Pandits, stating that the state is "incomplete" without the exiled community.

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