The Centre has sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir government on IAS officer Shah Faesal’s “rapistan” tweet. The state government has been asked by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to share details of the case based on which future course of the action in the matter will be decided, they said.
Faesal, a 2010-batch IAS officer currently pursuing a mid-career masters programme in the US, is facing disciplinary proceedings over his controversial tweet.
In a notice to Faesal, the General Administration Department of J&K, which is under the Governor’s rule, said, “You have allegedly failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in the discharge of official duty and thus acted in a manner unbecoming of a public servant.”
Faesal had tweeted, “Population +patriarchy +illiteracy +alcohol +porn +technology +anarchy = rapistan(sic).”
As per guidelines, civil service officers can face disciplinary action if they criticise government policies.
The IAS officer, however, defended the post saying he had not criticised government policy. “If rape is part of government policy, then I plead guilty for criticism of the government policy,”
Faesal, who had earlier made headlines when he topped the civil services exam, appeared dismissive of the notice issued to him.
“Love letter from my boss for my sarcastic tweet against rape-culture in south Asia. The irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience. I’m sharing this to underscore the need for a rule change,” he said.
Faesal has questioned the action against him asking if government employees were expected to completely detach themselves from moral questions of the society as anything could be interpreted as criticism.
“The larger question here is that can government employees be asked to detach themselves completely from the moral questions of the society and keep quiet just because anything and everything can be read as criticism of government policy?” Faesal said responding to tweets about disciplinary action initiated against him.