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Disengaging DIPR professionals amidst COVID-19 crisis arbitrary, unfortunate: Qayoom Wani

Urges LG Murmu to revisit order to save future of 45 mass communication professionals.

Srinagar, May 30 (KNS): Prominent trader union leader and former EJAC President, Qayoom Wani on Saturday termed the government’s order of disengaging 45 media communication professionals as “arbitrary and unfortunate”—urging Lieutenant Governor, GC Murmu to review the order and save the future of the professionals.

“Government led by Murmu ji should revisit its arbitrary order in which 45 mass communication professionals of Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) have been unceremoniously disengaged after serving the government for five-long years,” Wani in a statement said.

In a statement issued to KNS, Wani said that amid the Covid-19 crisis, when the possibility of new employment was highly bleak, the Jammu and Kashmir government’s disengagement order of 45 media professionals has come as a shocker. He said these young employees—who have been serving the Department of Information and Public Relations for the last five years haven’t been left with any option—instead government has pushed them to the wall.

“Disengaging 45 professionals—who were working as Reporters, Translators and Camerapersons in the DIPR amidst this crisis is an arbitrary order. Disengagement of these professionals is highly injustice and order needs to be revoked immediately,” Wani further tweeted in this regard.

Pertinently the professionals were hired in 2015 by the then government. They were engaged with ministers, advisors, governors for publicity and promotion of their activities in print and electronic media. According to the departmental communications it would now be relying on meager manpower in a situation when the workload of the department has increased manifold. “What was the need to go for such orders when you are already accepting that you are running short of staff that too professional staff,” Wani asked.

“The termination order has come against the spirit of a labour and employment ministry advisory to all state and UT administrations them not to terminate employees in the face of a catastrophic situation due to outbreak of Covid-19 particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages,” Wani said.

Wani said that government has thrown to the winds the labour department’s advisory and instead cited a clause in the contract it signed with the stringers to justify the termination order.

“The timing of the termination is highly disappointing and Government must rethink over it,” Wanis said, “The employment uncertainty in Kashmir is already high. There are very few choices available for these professionals—why doesn’t government think that before issuing such arbitrary and anti-employee orders.”

Wani said that instead of taking serious initiatives for the regularization of these professionals, the government was issuing arbitrary orders—against professional employees.

“This is very sad. Government must handhold employees and professionals amidst crisis and not push them to the wall,” Wani said. He urged upon the Lt Governor, GC Murmu and Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam to personally intervene into the matter and come up to the expectations of these professionals otherwise these employees will have no option other than to come on roads for their legitimate rights. “We salute the services of these media professionals—who have been giving us time to time updates about the government schemes and policies,” he said, they have been working on the forefront towards people despite fear of dreaded virus Covid-19.

Wani showed solidarity with these employees—assuring them for full support from civil society for restoration of their legitimate rights.(KNS