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IAS officer who quit over Kashmir restrictions refuses to join duty despite notice

Kannan Gopinathan, who resigned in protest citing denial of freedom of expression in Kashmir, has refused to join service.

Written by Kamal Saiyed | Surat |
Updated: August 30, 2019 11:27:54 am
kannan gopinathan, ias officer kannan gopinathan, kannan gopinathan ias, kannan gopinathan on kashmir, kannan gopinathan resignation, notice to kannan gopinathan, india news, Indian Express On August 20, the officer on his personal Twitter account had tweeted in a similar vein, “I once thought that being in civil services meant an opportunity to expand the rights and freedoms of fellow citizens.” (Source: Facebook/ Kannan Gopinathan)

Kannan Gopinathan, the IAS officer from Diu and Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli (DDDNH) who resigned from services in protest against the “denial of freedom of expression” in Kashmir has refused to join even as the office of the administrator of the Union Territory of Daman & Diu issued a notice asking him to report to work as his resignation was yet to be accepted.

The notice signed by deputy secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms of the UT administration of Daman & Diu, Gurpreet Singh, was stuck on the door of the room at the Circuit House in Silvassa where Gopinathan is put up.

A 2012 batch officer, Gopin-athan told The Indian Express, “I came home at Silvassa, late last night (Wednesday), and learnt about the notice put on the door. It is a procedural notice because what they are saying is during the intervening period (till the resignation is accepted), I should rejoin the duties. I have gone public with my opinion and I strongly remain firm on my decision. It might not be appropriate for me to join duties at same place during this intervening (processing) period.”

“I have not decided my future step. I am exploring job options that are related to public services with private organisations. Last one week was hectic and I did not get time to work on it,” he added.

Read | ‘Haven’t thought what to do next… want to remain connected with people,’ says IAS officer

On Wednesday, AK Singh, adviser to the administrator of Union Trritory D&NH Praful Patel, issued the notice that was stuck on Gopinathan’s room.

Gopinathan, who was holding the post of Secretary (Power & Non-Conventional sources of Energy), Daman &Diu and Dadra &Nagar Haveli, submitted his resignation on August 21, over “denial of Freedom of Expression to the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

A copy of notice that is with The Indian Express, said, “With reference to your letter dated on 21st August, on the subject (Resignation from Indian Administrative services) cited it is to inform you that as per the DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training) No. 28034/25//87/Estt. (A), dated 11/02/1988 para. 3. A resignation becomes effective when it is accepted and the Government servant is relieved of his duties. Therefore you are hereby directed to continue attending to your assigned duties immediately, till the decision is taken on your resignation by the competent authority. This is issued with the approval of Advisor to the Administrator Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.”

Gopinathan’s work when he was the Collector of D&NH had come in for praise. However, his relations with administrator of the Union Territory, Praful Patel, a former minister of state, reportedly soured during the Lok Sabha elections when Gopinathan was the collector of the UT.

After the Lok Sabha polls, Kannan was transferred from the post of Collector and was made Secretary (Power & Non-Conventional sources of Energy), Daman & Diu and Dadra &Nagar Haveli.

Kannan Gopinathan said, “The administrator issued a notice to me during the Lok Sabha elections. We found it was not appropriate as we were engaged in election related work, during which we have to report to the Election Commission, and not the administrator. I forwarded the notice with all reports to the chief electoral officer. Then it was sent to the Election Commission who asked administrator to withdraw the letter and also told not to interfere with the officials who were on election duty.”

Kannan was appointed as Collector of D&NH on December 2017 and he was transferred from the Collector’s post soon after the election in June 2019.

DDDNH Administrator Praful Patel said, “I have come to know about the notice by the administration. They have written a letter, and they must have acted as per rules. I have no enmity or personal grudges against him. He resigned for personal reasons.”.

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