The police in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have filed a case against former Indian Administrative Service officer Kannan Gopinathan for refusing to rejoin duty as directed by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic, PTI reported on Friday. The first information report was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act at the Daman Police Station, a police officer said.
Police Inspector Liladhar Makwana said that Gopinathan, who resigned from the IAS last August, also faces a charge under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for failing to obey a government order. “Based on a complaint by Superintendent of Personnel HK Kamble, an FIR has been registered against Gopinathan for not resuming his duty in the wake of coronavirus pandemic,” Makwana said.
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. On April 9, the Daman, Diu and Nagar Haveli administration asked him to rejoin duty on the ground that his resignation had not been accepted yet.
However, Gopinathan refused. He accused the government of harassment, and said he was ready to do voluntary work to help people tide over the pandemic, but would not resume duty as an IAS 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 tweeted. “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.