Indian authorities have detained a prominent bureaucrat turned politician Shah Faesal for his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian media reported on Wednesday.
According to Times of India, Faesal was sent back to Jammu and Kashmir and placed under house arrest after being barred from boarding a flight to Istanbul. Quoting officials, it said Faesal was detained under India’s Public Safety Act.
Faesal gained prominence in 2009 after he became the first Kashmiri to top the Indian civil services examination. He resigned from the Indian bureaucracy in January to join politics.and launched his own political party called the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.
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Faesal has vehemently criticised the Narendra Modi government for stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by repealing Article 370 and placing the entire region on lockdown.
In a series of social media posts, he had pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir was experiencing an unprecedented lockdown with its eight million population incarcerated like never before.
“People are in shock. Numb. Yet to make sense of what befell them. Everyone is mourning what we lost,” he said. “This is being seen as the biggest betrayal by the Indian state in the last 70 years.”
In another tweet, Faesal stressed that the abolition of Article 370 had ‘finished the mainstream’. “Constitutionalists are gone. So you can either be a stooge or a separatist now. No shades of grey.”
Faesal is not the only Kashmiri politician to be detained. Several other Kashmiri political leaders, including former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir – Mehbooba Mufti and Oman Abdullah have been placed under house arrest.