The Central government has purportedly started an inquiry against Indian Administrative Services officer Shah Faesal for writing some Twitter posts that allegedly violated service rules. The 2010 batch officer tweeted the letter he received from his department, and called for a change in rules that prohibit officers from criticising the government.

Faesal is the only Kashmiri to have ever topped the civil services exam.

In one of the tweets cited by the government, Faesal had used the word “Rapistan” to describe the “rape culture in South Asia”. The tweet read: “Patriarchy+Population+Illiteracy+Alcohol +Porn+Technology+Anarchy = Rapistan!” Faesal said the tweet was “sarcastic”.

Sharing his department’s letter, Faesal wrote on Tuesday: “The irony here is that service rules with a colonial spirit are invoked in a democratic India to stifle the freedom of conscience. I’m sharing this to underscore the need for a rule change.”

The letter said that the Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training had asked the Srinagar secretariat to initiate action against Faesal as he had “failed to maintain absolute honesty and integrity in discharge of [his] official duty”.

Faesal said the action was “bureaucratic over-enthusiasm”. “I don’t think this warrants any action,” he told The Indian Express. “Rape is not part of government policy that criticism of rape would mean criticism of government policy and invite action.”

Faesal, a former managing director of Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation, is currently on leave from the state government and is on a Fulbright scholarship in the United States.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah defended Faesal and called the notice a case of “bureaucratic over-enthusiasm”, according to the Greater Kashmir. “I see this notice as a case of where people who are pushing the files at the top do not understand the spirit of the times we are living in.

“How is a sarcastic tweet dishonest? How does it make him corrupt,” he added in a tweet.