Indian govt officer resigns over brutal Kashmir conditions

This is not the 1970s, you cannot deny basic rights to an entire people, he says

News Desk August 25, 2019
Photo of Kannan Gopinathan from the days of his posting in Mizoram. PHOTO: Facebook page of Kannan Gopinathan.

An officer of the Indian Administrative Service from Kerala, Kannan Gopinathan, resigned from his position on Wednesday (August 21), in order to freely speak about the oppression of people in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), reported The Wire.

“It has been 20 days since there has been a lockdown on a whole region with all kinds of restrictions. I cannot remain silent over this even if this means I have to resign from the IAS in order to speak freely and that is what I have done,” he said.

The officer stated that the constitution allows for the imposition of a state of emergency if there is aggression within the region, but in Kashmir, it has been imposed as a preemptive measure.  People’s freedom has been curtailed on the grounds that if it is not, it will lead to an internal disturbance, he elaborated.

He said that according to an amendment in the Indian Constitution this reason was no longer valid for imposing the emergency.

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“This is not Yemen, this is not the 1970s, that you can deny basic rights to an entire people and nobody will say anything about it,” Gopinathan said.

The officer also stated that civil servants are expected to implement instructions without analysing what is morally right or wrong. However, he said that the conditions in Kashmir forced him to step down from his service.

“If I owned a newspaper, my headline tomorrow would just be the number '20' because it is the twentieth day that the people of Kashmir have been subjected to these restrictions on their freedoms,” he said.

Responding to a question about his future plans, Gopinathan said “I have not thought that far. But 20 years from now, if people ask me what I was doing when a virtual Emergency was imposed like this on a part of the country, at least I will be able to say that I resigned from the IAS.”


Azizul Falak | 4 years ago | Reply Decision to resign for a public officer as a protest against state tyranny is a brave move that should be applauded amongst proponents of free speech.
Kaifa | 4 years ago | Reply Kudos to you Gopinathan- what an excellent example you are!! May many more Indian civil service officers take your example!
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