SRINAGAR: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has come out in support of IAS officer Shah Faesal of Jammu and Kashmir cadre against the state government's decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him over his tweet on rising incidents of rape in the country.
"I write to you in solidarity against the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to initiate an inquiry for expressing your opinion on the rising incidents of rapes in India," Gandhi said in a letter to Faesal.
In April this year, the officer, who topped the UPSC civil services examination in 2010, had posted on Twitter, "population + patriarchy + illiteracy + alcohol + porn + technology + anarchy = rapistan".
Acting on the instructions of the Centre's Department of Personnel and Training, the Jammu and Kashmir government had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Faesal for the tweet.
"You have allegedly failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in the discharge of official duty and thus acted in a manner unbecoming of a public servant," the General Administration Department (GAD) of the state government had said in the notice to Faesal last week.
Gandhi, in his letter to the IAS officer, said the founders of the country had envisioned freedom of expression as the fundamental right of every citizen.
"This freedom not only allows a nation to introspect on pressing social problems but also helps us find ways to address them.
I feel it is extremely troubling that the government has singled you out for voicing your opinions. It exhibits an insecurity that is unbecoming of any government," the Congress president said.
Conveying his party's support to Faesal, Gandhi added, "You deserve to be appreciated for identifying and courageously highlighting the issues that plague India. We stand by you in letter and spirit".