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Shah Faesal, who was an IAS topper from Jammu and Kashmir, is set to join the National Conference and is eyeing the Baramulla seat.

New Delhi: After months of speculation, Kashmiri IAS officer Shah Faesal has finally resigned from the services to join politics.

The 2010 batch topper sought voluntary retirement Monday to join the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference. Faesal, 35, who comes from the Lolab valley in Kupwara, is believed to be eyeing the Baramulla constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“He applied for voluntary retirement the day before, but the process takes time since it has to be approved by the DoPT,” a source familiar with the development told ThePrint.

Once his resignation is accepted, Faesal is expected to meet the National Conference leadership, including party chief Farooq Abdullah and son Omar.

“There will be a meeting between the NC leaders before his (Faesal’s) official induction into the party,” a senior party leader told ThePrint.

Omar Abdullah reacted to Faesal’s resignation on Twitter.

Faesal has just returned to India from a stint as a Fulbright fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He arrived in the Valley on 2 January, after which he decided to resign.

Reasons for quitting

Later in the day, Faesal took to social media to confirm and explain his decision.

“To protest the unabated killings in Kashmir and absence of any credible political initiative from Union Government, I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter. I will be addressing a press-conference on Friday. Attached is my detailed statement,” he wrote on Twitter, attaching a screenshot of a longer Facebook post.

In the Facebook post, Faesal wrote: “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.”

Faesal also said he would “train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream”.

Also read: More & more IAS & IPS officers are retiring early to join politics – just before elections

Claim to fame

Faesal rose to fame soon after clearing the civil services exam in 2009, becoming the first Kashmiri to top the test. After joining the IAS, he was appointed director of school education in the Kashmir Valley.

However, his outspokenness on social media and criticism of the country and the government has led to several run-ins with the powers-that-be for breaching the All India Services (Conduct) Rules.

Last year, Faesal found himself in trouble when an official inquiry was launched against him for a remark on rampant rapes in south Asia. In a tweet, criticising the rape culture in the region, Faesal referred to south Asia as “Rapistan”.

However, he refused to withdraw his comment in the face of the inquiry, and instead suggested that the inquiry was a classic case of bureaucratic over-enthusiasm.

“He is one of the rare officers who will criticise the government when needed, and, as a result, he neither gets along with the IAS lobby nor the central government,” a government officer said.

“He is generally perceived as anti-establishment… He’s more like an activist.”

Also read: Rahul Gandhi writes to IAS officer Shah Faesal, says ‘troubling that govt is singling you out’

This article has been updated to include Omar Abdullah’s tweet and Shah Faesal’s statement on his resignation.

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8 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Easy to attack the Hindutva as target. Never heard Faisal sympathetic to Hindu refugees from east Pakistan since 1947 living a second class citizen ship.
    Ye public sab jaan jayegi.
    Masks fall.
    Your use of word fascist shows how incapable you are to think about real issues and why BJP is getting successful?

  2. Soon we will come to know about his intentions. The guys goes to UK school and comes back with a new vision. Something fishy? This guy must have been radicalized during his UK stint. I am sure. That’s why he chose to join the party whose leaders spent whole their life’s abroad protecting themselves than worrying about Kashmir. Bother father son duo always stayed outside the state and ran politics in the state.

  3. With respect I would like to know as u have mentioned in ur tweet that in the hand of Hindutva, the Muslims in India are being reduced to second class, plz with ur same guts kindly be vocal about the Kashmiri Pandits who are being thrown out from their home. I feel democracy for you means Muslims only that is why Pakistan was created as a Muslim state where day by day population of Hindus came down to 1% while we Indian believe democracy means all human irrespective of caste, creed and you r best example or creation of Indian democracy as IAS.

  4. Let us hope he initiates the process of promoting mutual peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Hindus in Kashmir and start a campaign to bring back the Kashmiri pandits who were driven out. Such initiatives from a Kashmiri Muslim may find better acceptance among the local populace.

  5. It’s good to spell your mind clearly to raise any issue but then let us back up with probable solutions too atleast to the best of ones capability .

  6. A good man, needed equally in the civil service and in politics. Was moved by one of his tweets a few months back, as he described the numb state of Kashmiris, moving from one funeral to the next, waiting for their own. Without Insaaniyat, Kashmir will not be solved / resolved in a thousand years.


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