Indian Administrative Service officer Kannan Gopinathan on Thursday refused to resume work after the Centre summoned him to immediately resume duty in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Gopinathan had resigned from his post as the collector of Dadra and Nagar Haveli last year in protest against the manner in which the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The bureaucrat took to Twitter to share the details of the letter sent to him on the direction of the administration of Daman, Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The government asked him to resume his service on the grounds that his resignation has not been accepted yet.

“You were directed to continue to attend your assigned duties, but till date you have not reported for duties of this Union Territory administration,” the letter said. The coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic and the National Disaster Management Authority has directed all ministries and departments of the central government and the state governments to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country, the letter added. “Therefore, you are hereby directed to report for duty immediately,” it said.

Accusing the government of harassment, Gopinathan said he was willing to do voluntary work to help people tide over the pandemic, but would not resume duty as an Indian Administrative Service Officer.

“Let me clarify that I have resigned from the Indian Administrative Service close to eight months back, in August, and accordingly the government has also not processed my salary since then,” Gopinathan said. “Hence, I am under no obligation to reply. As a responsible citizen, I extend all my services to the people of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu during this disaster.”

After resigning from his post in August, Gopinathan has campaigned and spoken relentlessly against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the planned National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.

In January, he was detained by the Uttar Pradesh Police hours before an event related to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Sardar Patel Sansthan in Prayagraj. The police did not allow him to leave Prayagraj airport and instead forced him to board a flight to Delhi. On January 4, Gopinathan was detained in Agra when he was on his way to attend a demonstration at Aligarh Muslim University. He was released on personal bond and escorted out of Uttar Pradesh.

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