Shah Faesal, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer turned politician, was stopped from boarding a flight to Boston at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and sent to Srinagar earlier today, a person close to Faesal told HuffPost India.
HuffPost India has reached out to the Delhi Police and the Jammu and Kashmir police for confirmation and will update this copy when they respond.
This person close to Faesal said that he had been detained under the Public Safety Act, and was under house arrest in Kashmir.
Faesal is the latest public figure from Jammu and Kashmir to be detained by security services since the Indian government imposed a lockdown in the region on August 5 2019. Since then, the state has been bifurcated, its constitutionally-guaranteed “special status” has been scrapped by Parliament, and mainstream politicians including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, and Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party were arrested.
Faesal, who in 2009 became the first Kashmiri to have topped the civil service examination, has been critical of the Modi government’s abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) special status and its subsequent lockdown.
In an interview with HuffPost India, last week, Faesal said, “Nobody had the slightest idea that the Indian Constitution would be robbed of its value in broad daylight.”
“More hurtful is the manner in which it was done. It was done with such unilateralism and ruthlessness, without taking into consideration Kashmiris. There cannot be a darker day for democracy,” he said.
In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, he said that the choice left to Kashmiris was “stooge or separatist.”
“I’m not going to be a stooge. I think one clarity which this step has brought unto all of us is that those people who believed that India would not betray this generation of Kashmiris....You know this new insult, this new phase of indignation that has begun on 5 August, 2019, and it is my generation which has got the taste of betrayal,” he said.
(Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please check for updates).