The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has reinstated Jammu and Kashmir’s IAS officer Shah Faesal and posted him as Deputy Secretary in the Union Ministry for Tourism.
Shah Faesal, a 2010 batch IAS topper of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre, now AGMUT, resigned from the services in January 2019 and formed the political party Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM).
Since January 2020 reports about Faesal being taken back into the services were regularly emerge without culminating in anything. Previously there were reports that he will be appointed as the director of Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar. And then there were reports that he will be posted as an advisor to the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. But nothing materialized.
Shah Faesal topped IAS in 2010. In 2018 Faesal got enrolled in the Mid-Career MPA program at Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright Scholar. Later on his return to J&K, he quit civil services and launched a political party, Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement in January 2019. The government didn’t accept his resignation though.
On August 5, 2019, the government amid siege of J&K, extensively military build-up, communication blockade and arrest of thousands of people including three former chief ministers revoked Article 370, Article 35A, bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories, Jammu, and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Faesal expressed his resentment against the move.
Faesal was arrested on August 14, 2019, at the Delhi international airport and was put in preventive custody under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He was about to board a flight to the United States to complete his research study at the prestigious Harvard University when he was denied permission to travel abroad. Later in mid-February 2020, the dreaded Public Safety Act (PSA) was imposed on him. The government in its PSA dossier had accused Faesal of “supporting soft separatism” through social media posts. The dossier also mentioned his alleged “provocative statements” made in 2019.
After his release, Faesal in August 2020 stepped down from the chairmanship of his party, JKPM, saying he is not in a position to continue with political activities and wants to be freed from the responsibilities of the organization. Since then he was trying to get back into the services.