Kashmiri Indian Administrative Services officer Shah Faesal on Wednesday resigned from the civil services and is likely to join politics ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections later this year.

In 2009, Faesal became the first Kashmiri to top the Union Public Services Commission examination. He is a former managing director of Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation.

The bureaucrat said he was resigning from his post in protest against the “unabated killings in Kashmir” and the lack of initiative from the Centre. He said he was also resigning in protest against the “marginalisation and invisiblization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens”.

He claimed there is a growing culture of intolerance and hate in the country in the name of hyper-nationalism. “I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and NIA has the potential to decimate the Constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped,” he wrote in a statement. “I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy.”

Faesal recently returned to India after a stint at the Harvard Kennedy School in the United States.

According to reports, Faesal is set to join the National Conference and will contest the General Elections from Baramulla. National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah welcomed Faesal to politics. “The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold,” Abdullah tweeted.

Faesal said he would address a press conference on Friday.

Last year, the Centre had criticised Faesal for using the word “Rapistan” to describe “rape culture in South Asia”. His tweets had come in response to the Kathua case – where an eight-year-old girl was killed after allegedly being raped. The Centre had reportedly initiated an inquiry against him for violating service rules.