First lady IAS officer of J&K cadre exposes Kashmir’s bureaucratic, political culture


A retired women IAS officer, who has served in Jammu and Kashmir for more than decades, has openly talked about the various scandals and revealed how an outsider Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer goes through while serving in Jammu and Kashmir.

The former bureaucrat and the first women IAS officer in Jammu and Kashmir, Sonali Kumar has written a book revealing the scandals in bureaucracy.

The book titled ‘Unmasking Kashmir’; a bureaucrat reveals is an extremely racy book which is full of even juicier scandals.

Kumar was the first lady IAS officer to be allotted to J&K cadre with a batch of 1979. The book, which is a memoir of Kumar as a bureaucrat in Kashmir-speaks about how she was summarily removed from the post of Principal resident commissioner J&K Bhawan, New Delhi, for allegedly not serving the biryani to a visiting delegation.

The book also talks about the how a chief secretary hosted Hurriyat meeting at his official residence and also indulged sundry other anti-national activities, that too openly.

Kumar in her book talks about a clerk in the Legislative Assembly who rises to be the chief secretary and succeeds in creating a parallel cadre to IAS without even a murmur of protest from the GOI.

The book which is likely to generate heat also talks about how a serving Deputy Commissioner emblazed Rs 8 Crores of the government of India funds, how he disappeared along with his two PSO (Personal Security Officer), driver and official vehicle.

Kumar in her book also narrates how a serving Chief Minister claims he is divorced or separated from his wife but the state government still keeps on spending Crores on the electricity, rent and sundry other bills incurred on the residences that his wife continues to occupy.

She also reveals that how an IAS officer is arrested by the CBI, jailed then released because all the witnesses the victims turned “hostile”, and later becomes the Chief Secretary.

The book also mentions, how bribes are sought and taken and why, therefore, the only industry that flourishes in J&k is the “transfer industry”.

The former bureaucrat also reveals that how VVIPs descend for sight-seeing and shopping in J&K in the chapter “Shopping with the President’s Daughter”.

Notably, her husband Dr.Arun Kumar, also in the IAS of 1979 batch, who as CEO Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was allegedly at the heart of the “Amarnath Controversy” in 2008 that almost, split the state into religious lines.

All such incidents are narrated by Sonaili in the backdrop of ‘The Outsider’s Curse’ that she says every All India Service officer suffers from.

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