The Central government’s reinstatement of controversial Kashmiri IAS officer Shah Faesal has come as a surprise for many. Faesal had questioned the Modi government’s abrogation of Articles 370, 35A and sought voluntary retirement in “protest” against “unabated killings” in Kashmir. He has been appointed as Deputy Secretary in the Tourism Ministry at the centre.
The Centre’s move comes four months after it accepted Faesal’s application for withdrawing his resignation and reinstated him in the service in April.
Faesal, a 2010 batch IAS, had resigned from service in January 2019 and floated his own political party, Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM). He had said one of the reasons that provoked him to quit as an IAS officer was “the marginalisation and invisiblisation” of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens.
“I quit my position to protest the unabated killings in Kashmir and absence of any credible political initiative from the Union Government, I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter”, he had stated.
Even while in service, he had posted highly controversial tweets, for which the government had ordered a departmental enquiry against him on the charges of violating the service conduct rules. He was even detained in Delhi after abrogation of Article 370.
However, after his release, the doctor-turned-bureaucrat gave up politics in 2020 and started dropping hints of his willingness to rejoin government service.
He deleted his controversial tweets and has now replaced his own photo with a picture of the National Flag as the Display Picture (DP), on his Twitter handle. He also retweeted ‘Har Ghar Tiranga, Azadi ka Amrit’ and other tweets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
His resignation had not been accepted. Faesal had taken to Twitter and expressed that his idealism had let him down. “Eight months of my life (Jan 2019-Aug 2019) created so much baggage that I was almost finished. While chasing a chimera, I lost almost everything that I had built over the years. Job. Friends. Reputation. Public goodwill. But I never lost hope. My idealism had let me down,” he had tweeted. The eight months he mentioned in his tweet was the period after his resignation, which he spent launching his party.