‘I can’t accept such curbs’, says Indian IAS officer who resigned

Srinagar, August 26 (KMS): Days after resigning, Indian Administration Service officer Kannan Gopinathan, who quit his job in protest over denial of basic rights to the people of occupied Kashmir, has said that such thing is not acceptable in a democratic set-up.

The 32-year-old officer of 2012 batch came into limelight after he hid his identity to join volunteers in relief work during the 2018 Kerala floods. Gopinathan, who was Secretary, Power Department, of the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, submitted his resignation last Wednesday.

“I want to exercise my freedom of expression but it is not possible while I am in the service. There are certain rules and regulations in that,” he said. Gopinathan, who hails from Kottayam district of Kerala, referring to the abrogation of Article 370 said, “After taking the decision on Kashmir, nearly 20 days have passed and even now, the people there are not allowed to react or respond to it and that is not acceptable in a democratic set up. Personally, I could not accept it and continue in the service during such a time.”

“This is not something I can accept in my country. I know that my acceptance doesn’t make any difference. But I wanted to express that this is not correct. We should allow them their freedom of expression. If they don’t like it we can try to convince them. We don’t convince by locking them up and not allowing them to express their views,” he said.

He said the people should be allowed freedom of expression. “As a bureaucrat, I have limitations. But in a democracy, people have the right to respond against such decisions. The citizens of a democratic country have the right to react or respond to a decision taken by the government,” Gopinathan said.

He said the resignation was a decision he took out of a very strong feeling that he could not accept the kind of denial of right to the people there.

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