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Kashmir politician Shah Faesal is still IAS officer, erases Twitter timeline

Shah Faesal has also erased his Twitter timeline, removing tweets that got him into trouble with the government. Faesal is under house arrest in Jammu and Kashmir

Updated: Aug 10, 2020, 18:37 IST

By, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Shah Faesal, who topped the IAS in 2010 and announced his exit from the government nine years later, has resigned as JK People’s Movement, the party he launched last year (PTI)

Shah Faesal, the 2010 IAS topper from Kashmir who resigned from the civil services to launch his political party last year, stepped down from the J&K People’s Movement’s leadership role. Faesal, who has been under detention since August last year, changed his Twitter bio that identified him as the JKPM chief on Sunday evening, triggering speculation that he could exit politics.

Faesal had announced his resignation from the civil services in January 2019 and launched his party, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, two months later. When parliament scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in early August last year, he was one of the sharpest critics of the move . He was detained under the Public Safety Act soon after when he was on his way to Harvard to pursue a course, released in June this year and placed under house arrest a day later.

But his resignation from government service was never accepted, reportedly because the Centre had initiated disciplinary proceedings against him over his tweets on rape in July 2018.

The central government’s website on IAS officers continues to show him as a serving IAS officer. It does not, however, indicate if he was placed under suspension under a rule that automatically deems All India Service officers held in detention for more than 48 hours to have been suspended.

The JKPM, the party that the 37-year-old founded, on Monday confirmed that the change in Twitter bio reflected his changed status in the party.

In a statement released on Monday, the JKPM said Faesal, who trained as a doctor before joining the civil services, had asked the party to “spare him from the organisational responsibilities”. “Dr Shah Faesal had informed state executive members that he is not in a position to continue with political activities and wants to be freed from the responsibilities of the organisation,” the JKPM said.

The party has accepted his request “so that he can better continue with his life and contribute whichever way he chooses”.

Shah’s success in the civil services examination had inspired many young Kashmiris to sit for the fiercely-competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. This year, a record 16 candidates cleared the examination from Jammu and Kashmir, many of them from remote parts of the Kashmir valley.


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