Day after appearing on BBC HARDtalk programme, IAS topper-turned-Kashmiri politician Shah Faesal stopped from leaving India, put under house arrest in Kashmir


Shah Faesal, the first Kashmiri IAS topper, who resigned from the services to join politics earlier this year, was stopped from leaving the country at the Delhi airport on Wednesday. He was later arrested and taken to Srinagar, where he will be kept under house arrest.

Shah Faesal

The Indian government have already arrested two former chief ministers, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, after announcing the abrogation of Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir.

Faesal, who became the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exams in 2009, was reportedly flying to Istanbul when he was stopped at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Faesal has been very critical of the government’s crackdown in the valley.

On Tuesday, Faesal shared a clip of his interview to BBC HardTalk programme, where he said, “I am not going to be a stooge (of India). I think one clarity which this step (abrogation of Article 370) has brought onto all of us is that those people who believed that India will not betray this generation of Kashmiris..This new phase of insult which began on 5 August 2019, has given the taste of betrayal of my generation.” He said that India had murdered the democracy in Kashmir.

It’s not clear whether the decision to prevent Faesal from leaving India was linked to his appearance on the high profile programme of BBC. But, Faesal is well recognised internationally and the government has always been wary of negative publicity outside India about its crackdown in Jammu and Kashmir.

Faesal had stunned everyone by resigning from the civil services in January in protest against the ‘unabated killings in Kashmir.’