Officer who resigned over Indian govt's treatment of Kashmiris asked to resume duty

Published August 29, 2019
An officer of the Indian Administrative Service, Kannan Gopinathan, resigned in protest of the Indian government's treatment of the people of occupied Kashmir. — Photo courtesy The Wire
An officer of the Indian Administrative Service, Kannan Gopinathan, resigned in protest of the Indian government's treatment of the people of occupied Kashmir. — Photo courtesy The Wire

An officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), who resigned in protest of the Indian government's treatment of the people of occupied Kashmir, has been asked to resume duty until his resignation is accepted, The Wire reported on Thursday.

According to The Wire, Kannan Gopinathan, who submitted his resignation on August 21, had said: "This is not Yemen, this is not the 1970s, that you can deny basic rights to an entire people and nobody will say anything about it. It has been 20 days since there has been a lockdown on a whole region with all kinds of restrictions.

"I cannot remain silent over this even if this means I have to resign from the IAS in order to speak freely and that is what I have done."

He said "he could not continue to do his job while seeing that the bureaucratic machinery was being misused to curtail people’s rights and freedoms, and there was an ‘Emergency’ in place".

Additionally, the IAS officer said that after he had decided to resign, efforts were made to "discredit his opinion by saying that he had charges of misconduct against him".

Quoting the Press Trust of India, the publication reported that Gopinathan was issued a notice by the department he had been posted in, which cited rules from the personnel and training department stating that a government official's resignation was effective after being accepted.

"Therefore, you are hereby directed to continue attending to your assigned duties immediately, till a decision is taken on your resignation," the notice said.

Gopinathan told PTI that he was not aware of the notice.

India's government, led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, decided on August 5 to repeal of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, that granted occupied Kashmir special status. The government instituted a security lockdown and communications blackout to avoid violence. The clampdown is now on its 25th day.

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