Srinagar: Kashmiri Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal on Wednesday said he had quit the coveted service to protest against unabated killings in Jammu and Kashmir and against the marginalization of Indian Muslims by Hindutva forces, "reducing them to second class citizens".
Faesal made the announcement on his Twitter page as news of his decision spread.
"To protest unabated killings in Kashmir and the absence of any credible political initiative from Union government, I have decided to resign from IAS. Kashmiri lives matter," he said.
He said he would address a press conference on Friday.
After topping the civil service exam in 2010, Faesal was allotted the home cadre of Jammu and Kashmir. He served as District Magistrate, Director of School Education and Managing Director of the state-owned Power Development Corporation.
He recently returned from the US where he had gone on a Fulbright fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah confirmed Faesal's decision to join politics. Abdullah tweeted: "Bureaucracy's loss is politics' gain. Welcome to the fold."
Informed sources said Faesal was likely to join the National Conference and fight the Lok Sabha election from Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley.
Faesal also issued a detailed statement outlining the reasons for his decision.
"To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government;
"The marginalization and invisiblization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces, reducing them to second class citizens;
"Insidious attacks on the special identity of Jammu and Kashmir and growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hyper nationalism, I have decided to resign from the Indian Administrative Service.
"I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and NIA has the potential to decimate the Constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped.
"I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy.
"I am thankful to my family, friends and well-wishers for supporting me in this amazing journey in IAS. One of my important tasks hereafter will be to train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream."