AMID THE clampdown in J&K following the removal of its special status, Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS officer who resigned this year to take up politics, was prevented from boarding a flight from Delhi to Istanbul Wednesday, officials said. He was later taken to Srinagar, held under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and placed under house arrest, they said.
Home Ministry sources said Faesal was detained by immigration authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport around 5.30 am, and handed over to Delhi Police, which put him on a flight to Srinagar.
Faesal had been in Delhi since the government announced its decision on Article 370 this month. Sources said he was detained on the basis of a “perception of threat to public order due to his activities”. The move was based on a report from the J&K administration, they said.
“There is a likelihood that political leaders will go abroad and try to foment trouble in the Valley from there,” an official said.
In 2009, Faesal became the first Kashmiri to top the IAS exams. Early this year, he resigned to set up J&K People’s Movement with the aim of joining mainstream politics.
Faesal has been vocal in his criticism of the government’s decision on the removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and its bifurcation. In an interview to The Indian Express published on August 10, he had said: “I see it as a catastrophic turn in our collective history, a day when everybody is feeling that it is a death knell to our identity, our history, our right to our land, our right to our existence.”
With Faesal’s detention, almost all known political leaders from Kashmir are behind bars. Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were detained on the night before the Article 370 announcement. Independent MLA Engineer Rashid was arrested by the NIA in connection with a terror-funding case.