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SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal, who topped the 2010 civil services exam, has quit IAS to join politics. Faesal said that the officer had sent the mandatory notice to the government about his decision to resign from service. Faesal topped the IAS exam in 2010 and was allotted the home cadre of Jammu and Kashmir where he worked as District Magistrate, Director of School Education and Managing Director of the state-owned Power Development Corporation.

Faesal recently returned from the US after completing his Fulbright fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. According to reports, Faesal will be contesting from the North Kashmir parliamentary constituency which was won by the Peoples Democratic Party’s Muzaffar Hussain Baig in the 2014 general elections. At the time of his resignation Faesal was on leave, pursuing a master’s degree as a Mason fellow at Harvard University. “He applied for voluntary retirement the day before but the process takes time since it has to be approved by the home ministry,” reports said.

In a post on Facebok, Faesal said he has decided to resign from the IAS 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.

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. I am thankful to my family, friends and well-wishers for supporting me in this amazing journey in IAS. One of my important tasks here-after will be train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream.

I will be addressing a press conference on Friday to share my future plans. I will look forward to your support and blessings in this new mission. Last year, Faesal found himself in trouble when the government sent a notice to him for his tweet on rapes in India. “You have allegedly failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in the discharge of official duty and thus acted in a manner unbecoming of a public servant,” read the notice by the J&K General Administration Department, which initiated disciplinary proceedings against Faesal at the request of the central government’s Department of Personnel and Training.

Faesal’s tweet read: “Population +patriarchy +illiteracy +alcohol +porn +technology +anarchy = rapistan”. The post drew the ire of the DoPT. After it issued the notice to Faesal he wrote: “Love letter from my boss for my sarcastic tweet against rape-culture in South Asia. The Irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience.”

Offended  by the tweet, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) forwarded  a copy of communication along with enclosures in which several references were made to the IAS officer's tweets saying the tweets are "prima facie in contravention of the extent provision of the All India Service (Conduct Rules) 1968, All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969."

Welcoming him to the "fold of politicians", former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, "The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain."“Actually I welcomed him to the fold of politicians. His future political plans are his to announce,” Omar said in another tweet, while responding to reports that Faesal was likely to join National Conference.

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