New Delhi: Union minister Jitendra Singh said the resignation of Kashmiri IAS officer Shah Faesal displayed a "lack of conviction" on Faesal's part and that the former civil servant should have been "ready to condemn the act of terrorism". Singh's rebuke was countered by National Conference supremo Omar Abdullah, who had, on Wednesday, welcomed Faesal to the "fold".
Singh, who is the minister of state (independent charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, North East India, as well as minister of state for the Prime Minister's Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, along with the departments of Atomic Energy and Space, spoke to ANI, addressing Faesal.
"You can't enjoy protection of security forces against a potential attack and at the same time not be courageous enough to point at a terrorist and call him a terrorist but find a soft target in an Indian state which is tolerant and gives leverage to your expression," Singh said.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on the resignation of Shah Faesal, an IAS officer from J&K: This in itself is an indication of lack of conviction. If you have the conviction then you should be ready to condemn the act of terrorism... 1/2 pic.twitter.com/mWQlDmFztk
— ANI (@ANI) January 10, 2019
Singh's suggestion that Faesal has enjoyed a life free from the violence of terrorism was taken apart by Abdullah who pointed out on Twitter that the Kashmiri's father had "died in the hands of militants." Faesal, who resigned on Wednesday, is likely to join the National Conference, and contest the Parliamentary elections from the north Kashmir seat. He had, on Wednesday, attributed his decision to the "unabated killings in Kashmir", the Central government's "lack of sincere" efforts to reach out to the Kashmiris and the "marginalisation of the Indian Muslims". Abdullah referred to Singh as "Dr Sahib" and asked him to "educate" himself before speaking.
Dr Sahib Shah Faesal’s father was killed by militants but I don’t expect you to bother to educate yourself before you speak. No one more than Faesal knows the pain & suffering militancy & violence have brought upon Kashmir & it’s people. https://t.co/YfHGIrL3eZ — Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 10, 2019
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, meanwhile, took a dig at the BJP-led Central government over the resignation, saying the world will take note of "his cry of anguish and defiance". In a series of tweets, the former home and finance minister claimed whatever Faesal, the first Kashmiri IAS topper, had said was an indictment of the Narendra Modi-government.
Though sad, I salute Mr @shahfaesal IAS (now resigned). Every word of his statement is true and is an indictment of the BJP government. The world will take note of his cry of anguish and defiance.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 10, 2019
Chidambaram tweeted that not long ago "legendary police officer" Julio Ribeiro, a former top cop of Punjab and a former commissioner of the Mumbai Police, had stated the same thing, but there was "not a word of reassurance from the rulers".
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. pic.twitter.com/Dp41rFIzIg — Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) January 9, 2019
"Such statements from our fellow citizens must make us hang our heads in regret and shame," Chidambaram added.
On the Modi government, Ribeiro had said the country needed inclusive development and not just for some sections. He had also said he "felt threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in his own country" and that he never felt that he belonged to a different religion.
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2019 14:24:15 IST