Indian authorities have reportedly detained Shah Faesal, who quit the country’s elite administrative service to float a political party in Jammu and Kashmir, at New Delhi airport, as he tried to leave India.

Zee News, quoting official sources, reported that Faesal was set to board a plane destined for Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday. He was later sent back to Kashmir and taken into preventive custody. Indian authorities have yet to comment on the media report.

Faesal, who attained top scores in the country’s elite Civil Service Examination to join the Indian Administrative Service in 2009, was critical of government policies of late. He quit the service in 2018 and formed the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement to fight for the rights of the people of Kashmir.

The former bureaucrat has been extremely critical of the government’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and joined hands with other regional parties to protest the move.

Faesal described New Delhi’s decision to amend the Constitution to repeal the special status granted to the state, as “a nuclear bomb”.
New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, granted through Article 370 and Article 35A last week, amidst protests from opposition parties and people in the Kashmir region. The government also divided the state into two federally administered territories.

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