GUWAHATI, Jan 19 - The Janasadharan Newspaper Employees Union (JNEU) has flayed the management of the Janasadharan Assamese daily for forcefully and illegally shutting down the newspaper.
Union president and secretary Mrinal Kanti Mishra and Sonadhar Deka respectively alleged that regular salaries of the employees have been blocked by the management since September 2016. They alleged that the management had served an unsigned closure notice on October 31, 2016 stating that publication of Janasadharan would stop from November 30, 2016 owing to poor financial conditions of the company.
The union also alleged that Bedabrat Bora, the then managing editor of the newspaper along with a few of his accomplices in connivance with the management hatched a conspiracy to shut down the establishment so that management could be relieved of the burden of paying salaries and arrears as per the Majithia Wage Board recommendations.
Soon after, the employees approached the Labour Commissionerate. At the conciliatory meetings held on November 18, 2016 and November 25, 2016 subsequent to the employees� complaint, the labour officer cum conciliation officer asked the management to arrange funds to release the employees� pending salaries immediately and directed them not to close down the house either permanently or temporarily without following proper procedures as more than 140 employees were working there.
But the management did not pay heed to the orders of the Labour Department, and instead initiated a mass resignation drive patronised by Bedabrat Bora and his close aides, executive editor Purbajyoti Chutia and bureau chief Manoj Kr Nath.
The union has demanded immediate release of their outstanding salaries and closure compensation, other benefits as per the Majithia Wage Board recommendations and also demanded an impartial inquiry by the State government into the matter.
Meanwhile, Assam Union of Working Journalists (AUWJ) president Keshab Kalita has demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.