IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who resigned last week stating that denial of “freedom of expression” to the people of Jammu and Kashmir was not acceptable to him, has been asked to resume duty and continue to work till his resignation is accepted.

Gopinathan was the secretary, power department of the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. He submitted his resignation to the Home Ministry on August 21. The Personnel Department of Daman and Diu has now asked him to attend the office till it is accepted. Since he was not present in Silvassa, the capital city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, officials pasted a notice on the door of the room in a government guesthouse where he lived.

The notice, dated August 27, has been signed by Gurpreet Singh, deputy secretary, personnel department of Daman and Diu. Citing Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) rules, the notice said resignation by a government officer “becomes effective when it is accepted.”

“Therefore, you are hereby directed to continue attending to your assigned duties immediately, till a decision is taken on your resignation,” it said. Gopinathan told PTI that he was aware of the notice, but declined to comment further. After resigning, the IAS officer had claimed he took the decision to express his views against the “denial of freedom of expression” in Kashmir.

His resignation, though, had made no mention of the Kashmir issue.
After tendering resignation, Gopinathan had said to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution was the “right of elected government”, but in democracy people have the right to respond, too.

“After taking the decision on Kashmir, nearly 20 days have passed and even now, the people there are not allowed to react or respond to it and that is not acceptable in a democratic set-up. Personally, I could not accept it and continue in the service during such a time,” he had told PTI.

The 32-year-old officer who hails from Kottayam district of Kerala, had first come into limelight when he hid his identity and joined in relief work during the 2018 Kerala floods.

Several top leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, including state Congress president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Former chief ministers of the state, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan founder Choudhary Lal Singh and National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana are under house arrest since the Centre revoked special status of the state under Article 370 and introduce a bill for bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

On August 24, a delegation of Opposition leaders led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was also asked to return from Srinagar. The delegation had gone to Jammu and Kashmir to check the on-ground situation of the state after multiple reports of violence and detention emerged. The Congress leader tweeted, “It’s been 20 days since the people of Jammu & Kashmir had their freedom & civil liberties curtailed. Leaders of the Opposition & the Press got a taste of the draconian administration & brute force unleashed on the people of J&K when we tried to visit Srinagar yesterday.”