Former IAS Officer Kannan Gopinathan, Who Quit In Protest Of Kashmir Lockdown, Faces Chargesheet

Prashasti Awasthi India

November 7th, 2019 / 7:41 PM

Kanan Gopinathan Chargesheet

Image Credit: Patrika, Express Kerala

The cloud of trouble still hangs low over former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who tendered his resignation as an officer in the administration of Daman and Diu, has now been slapped with a fresh charge sheet filed by the Home Ministry on November 6, Wednesday.

Gopinathan, who remained disgruntled over sudden revocation of Article 370 and put this as a reason to forsake his position has seen no moment of peace since August 23rd, the day he resigned.

The Ministry has not processed his resignation so far. Instead, he is being charged by the government. In his tweet, he shared the memorandum where the Ministry charged him for misconduct and misbehaviour. The memorandum alleged that “the officer had acted in a manner unbecoming of a Government servant, which includes insubordination, adoption of dilatory tactics and dereliction of duty on various occasions.”

However, Gopinathan lashed out at the Centre for warning him not to drag any political influence to sway the hearing. 

While speaking to The Logical Indian Gopinathan said that the ministry first blamed him for discontinuing his service after his resignation and did not process his resignation. The media approached Gopinathan after knowing about his resignation. Gopinathan also took part in numerous prime time debates and discussions and took up the issue of Kashmir. He alleged that the Centre found his participation in debates detrimental to their image.

“Such minor penalties cannot make up for charge sheet. I have already given my resignation, and they can process it without creating any bureaucratic scene. They want to show that it is they who don’t want to continue with my service and not I,” said Gopinathan.

However, Gopinathan didn’t budge from his stance on Kashmir and said, “I own up to the reason for which I resigned. We have detained youths, previous Chief Ministers, MPs and MLAs from Kashmir without any procedure for more than 90 days. This is happening in democratic India.”

According to the former IAS officer, India seems to be completely ignoring the conflict and alienating Kashmiris which inturn fuels terrorism as radical elements grow more radicalised.

“They (the Centre) are saying that they are keeping the communication shut and Kashmiris in custody because they want to save lives. So, they are saying that the government is unable to provide ‘life’ and ‘liberty’ together. The basic message is, if I have to protect your life, then I have to take away your liberty. The government which forces you to choose either of them is a completely incompetent one,” remarked Gopinathan.

When asked why he did not remain in the system to bring about the change, he said, “I decided to get out of the system, and then condemn the decision. Imagine what they would have done to me if I continued with my service and dissented.”

Gopinathan concluded the telephonic conversation with a poignant remark that in fear of persecution, collective voices go numb. “It’s not what the government is doing, it is what the public is doing out of fear, and that is concerning,” lamented the ex-officer.

He further urged the citizens not to take democracy and constitution for granted as people have fought and sacrificed their lives to safeguard and uphold democracy during the Independence in 1947 and the Emergency in 1975. “If people do not show compassion towards fellow citizens, then what kind of national integration are we talking about,” asked Gopinathan ruefully.

However, it’s not only Gopinathan who faced a whip for resigning and slamming the Centre. The incumbent government is currently sitting on two more controversial exit pleas. 

In the last ten months, three resignations have been stalled by the government as they sparked controversy in the political arena. The officers include  Shah Faesal and Sasikanth Senthil. While Faesal resigned as an IAS officer to form political party Jammu-Kashmir People’s Movement, Senthil, a 2006-batch officer of the Karnataka cadre tendered his resignation on September 6 this year citing the reason that debates tend to become a question of one’s nationalism. The three erstwhile officers are still waiting for the Centre to process their resignations.


Also Read: Fact Check: Wrongly Bifurcated Map Of Jammu & Kashmir Post Conversion Of J&K Into Two Union Territories Viral On Social Media


Contributors

Written by : Prashasti Awasthi

Edited by : Shubhendu Deshmukh

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