Jammu & Kashmir

Omar Abdullah defends Shah Faesal in disciplinary action against tweet

Omar Abdullah defends Shah Faesal as he faces ‘disciplinary action’ over ‘Rapistan’ tweet

Srinagar: On Wednesday, Vice President of National Conference and former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah defended Shah Faesal, an IAS officer who faces disciplinary action for his post on social media.

“I see this notice as a case of bureaucratic over-enthusiasm where people who are pushing the files at the top do not understand the spirit of the times we are living in,” Omar tweeted.

“You have no problem when officers from Rajasthan and elsewhere defy ‘set norms of governance and conduct’, yet Faesal’s tweet about rape bothers you. Somehow this does not surprise me at all!” he added in response to Brajesh Kumar Singh, the head editor of Zee Hindustan.

Earlier, after New Delhi ordered action against Kashmiri IAS officer for his remarks on social media, the outspoken bureaucrat has said that he could lose his job.

“Yes, I could lose my job. But then the world is full of possibilities,” Faesal told News18. “Losing my job is a small risk compared to the magnitude of the debate I’m trying to have.”

On Tuesday, the IAS official went public with the show cause notice and seemed to question the government’s gag order for bureaucrats as well.

“Love letter from my boss for my sarcastic tweet against rape-culture in South Asia,” he wrote while sharing a showcase notice. “The Irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience.”

In April, the IAS officer had put out the tweet: Patriarchy+Population+Illiteracy+Alcohol+Porn+Technology+Anarchy = Rapistan!

Faesal drew a sharp reaction from some people who saw the reference to “Rapistan” as a reference to India and a contrast to Pakistan.

The 35-year-old bureaucrat is the only IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir to have ever topped the civil services exam. As a “role model”, the 2011 batch officer inspired many others to join the civil services. He is currently an Edward S Mason Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School on study leave.

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