Celebrity In Valley, UPSC Topper To Get 24x7 Security15 May 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Celebrity status comes for a price. And in the case of 27-year-old Kashmiri doctor Shah Faisal, who recently topped the UPSC Civil Services exam, the price of acquiring a star status in the Kashmir Valley could soon mean restriction on his movements. Having assessed a credible security threat to Faisal, the Jammu & Kashmir government is mulling providing a 24x7 security cover to the topper. “The boy has acquired celebrity status in the Valley following his success. But we also realise that there are some elements here who are not too pleased with this success story and could, in fact, attempt to target him. Given the perceived threat, it would be ideal to throw a security ring around him,” a top J&K government functionary told The Sunday Express. While the state government is already learnt to have deployed J&K Police en route and around Faisal’s house in Hyderpora in Srinagar, sources said that armed policemen could soon be deployed to guard him and his family. Faisal himself admits about his newly-acquired popularity. “The response has been unbelievable. It is a kind of celebrity status that has been accorded to me in Kashmir. Bohot logon ke saath mulaqatein hoti hain . A lot of people are coming to see me. Particularly, the exuberance and jubilation with which the youth are celebrating my success, I feel as if they have also developed this dream,” he said. Meanwhile, a steady steam of visitors has been pouring in at his home Hyderpora ever since he reached Srinagar. “Congratulations to Dr Shah Faisal for topping IAS exam at All India level” reads a banner put up by the J&K RTI Movement on the outer wall of his residence. Inside, Faisal’s mother Mubeen Begum is busy attending to guests. “He has always dreamt of making it big. In fact, one of the email IDs he made was firstname.lastname@example.org ,” she says. “Ab woh raaj bhi karega aur ilaaj bhi (Now he will administer as well as treat the people),” she said, proudly underlining her son’s twin qualifications. Asked about his cadre preference, Faisal said, “I am willing to work anywhere. My cadre preference is J&K state. If I get it, good. If I don’t get it, equally good.” Marriage proposals are pouring in as well. “I am not marrying for at least 10 years,” Faisal said.