SRINAGAR: The central government has finally reinstated IAS officer Shah Faesal, and appointed him as deputy secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
Officials said that the decision to appoint him in the ministry was approved by the Centre on Thursday. 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.
The first Kashmiri to top the civil services exams, Faesal was allotted the home cadre in 2008. A doctor-turned-bureaucrat, Faesal served in many capacities in the state with his last position in government being Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC).
He was selected as an Edward Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School in June 2018 and supposed to rejoin government service a year later. However, six months before his return, he surprised everyone when he announced his decision to resign from the service on January 9, 2019. He hinted at joining politics.
At the time of his resignation, Faesal had tweeted, “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.”
In March that year, he floated his own political party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM). Following the August 5, 2019 decision that stripped the erstwhile state of its special status and bifurcated it into Union Territories, Faesal was prevented from flying to Istanbul from Delhi and subsequently, put under detention. He was eventually released in June 2020.
Soon, Faesal announced that he was not only resigning from his party but quitting politics altogether. Since then, Faesal had been trying to enter the services again, which the government had looked into sympathetically.
During this time, Faesal deleted all his past tweets that were critical of the Centre and has been praising the schemes initiated by the government in Kashmir. He retweets almost all statements, announcements and speeches of PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Faesal had even tweeted earlier that people must watch Kashmir Files.