‘No intention to return’: Kannan IAS, who resigned from service over J&K, is emphatic

Kannan Gopinathan, the IAS officer from Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, had submitted his resignation citing the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir.
‘No intention to return’: Kannan IAS, who resigned from service over J&K, is emphatic
‘No intention to return’: Kannan IAS, who resigned from service over J&K, is emphatic
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“I don’t intend to get back to the service, I will be moving out,” says Kannan Gopinathan, the Malayali IAS officer from the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, who submitted resignation from the service over the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir with the abrogation of Article 370.

Kannan submitted his resignation to the Home Secretary on August 21. The IAS officer was in charge of Secretary of Power, Urban Development and Agriculture in the Union Territory. Less than a week later, he received a notice from the Personnel Department of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli on August 27, asking him to resume duty. The notice was pasted on the room of his house as he was not present when the officials came calling.  

Speaking to TNM, Kannan says, “The notice is a procedural one only. The resignation has not been accepted yet nor is it rejected. The government can keep a resignation pending for three or five years, without either rejecting or accepting it. That is not fair. If we approach court there are sufficient provisions to prove it is the right of an officer to resign. There are resignations of IAS officers which have not been accepted even after six of eight months,” he says.

The 2012 AGMUT cadre IAS officer, however, is emphatic, “I don’t intend to get back into service, that is a closed thing, neither do I want to resume duty.”

“Since I don’t intend to resume duty, it would only affect service rule conditions. This would be considered as unauthorized leave and it would be processed in that way,” Kannan says.

He quit the service stating that he wanted his freedom of expression back. "I want my freedom of expression intact. I joined the services believing I can give voice to others, but here I am unable to use my own voice. My resignation will give me my freedom of expression back," Kannan Gopinathan had earlier told TNM. “It is well thought decision but emotional too, I know it is a half day news only. But I want to act as per my consciousness,” he had said after submitting his resignation.  

With Kashmir being on lockdown for over 20 days, with a communication blackout affecting the functioning of several services, the bureaucrat had earlier told TNM that the lack of response from the country had disappointed him.   “What triggered my decision is the attempt to mutilate fundamental rights, to silence people. And the situation is that nobody should protest, nobody should raise their voice, raising your voice is not acceptable. The amount of power to silence those who react is tremendous,” he had said. “Not many including the media are keen to bring out the truth. The court also adjourns a case of such grave importance to weeks later. If there were many to raise a voice, I would have been happier, but there are not many,” remarked Kannan of the situation in J&K.

Kannan Gopinathan, who was earlier District Collector of Dadra and Nagar Haveli shot to the limelight for his selfless and anonymous work for flood relief in 2018. He kept his identity anonymous while working for flood-affected people, till another officer recognised him. 

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