Now a celebrity, JK's first and only IAS topper gets security cover | india | Hindustan Times
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Now a celebrity, JK's first and only IAS topper gets security cover

Jammu and Kashmir's first Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination topper, Shah Faesal (27) is under a security cover. Two security personnel escort him wherever he goes, reports Peerzada Ashiq.

india Updated: May 19, 2010 15:41 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times

Jammu and Kashmir's first Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination topper, Shah Faesal (27) is under a security cover. Two security personnel escort him wherever he goes.

Extensive publicity by local newspapers and hours of television footage devoted to him and his achievement, Faesal has become an iconic figure in the valley.

"I was hugged by waiters in restaurants, who claim to be from my district. I received a number of invitations from different organizations, coaching centres etc to 'grace' their programmes," said Faesal, who is now fed up of the constant media gaze.

His fond wish: "I want to shuffle back to normalcy." He has stopped attending any function now, he says as a matter of fact.

Almost every educational institution is paying tributes to his achievements through full-page advertisement in local dailies.

"I received hundreds of letters. Our official mails are inundated by letters, articles and congratulatory messages from readers," said Ajaz-ul-Haq, edit page editor of local daily Greater Kashmir.

Of late, SMS jokes and social networking groups have sprung up on the net to celebrate his success. On the World Wide Web, Faesal is being toasted by one and all regardless of caste, creed, religion or sex.

A senior police officer said the security has been provided "because he is a celebrity now and people mob him."

The police also maintain a constant vigil in the uptown locality of Hyderpora, where Faesal resides. It was a hoax SMS that Faesal has been attacked that prompted the police to swing into action.

Faesal --- who spent early childhood in Sogam, Kupwara, 95 km north of Srinagar --- discounts media description of him as a "rage-to-riches story" as mere romanticism.

"I am not a slumdog millionaire," said Faesal, who has studied in Kashmir's top school Biscoe and completed his medical training from a reputed college.