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Termination of DIPR employees illegal, says EJAC President

Appeals LG to intervene and roll back this decision

SRINAGAR, June 2: President Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) Fayaz Ahmad Shabnum has termed termination of services of Department of Information and Public Relations employees (Stringers) a clear violation of Government Order.

The (DIPR) has terminated the services of over 40 employees working in the department since 2015 leaving them high and dry in the middle of COVID 19 crisis.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment in a March 20 communication had advised all State and UT administrations not to terminate employees in the face of a catastrophic situation due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

“In the backdrop of such a challenging situation, all the employers of Public/Private Establishments may be advised to extend their coordination by not terminating their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages,” the employment ministry said in its order.

The EJAC president said their termination came despite the advisory from the Ministry of Labour and Employment against the termination of employees during COVID-19 lockdown, but the Department of Information and Public Relations has violated the order.

He said that their termination of service is also a violation of public announcement by Prime Minister Narindra Modi asking heads of States and Union territories not to terminate any one during COVID 19.

Shabnum said that the termination of services of their colleagues has come as a rude shock to them and has generated a lot of resentment among the employees community who have openly shown their sympathy with them and against the decision of Secretary Information and Director Information against their illegal order.

He said that disengagement of the employees comes at a time when people in the region are reeling under the worldwide CoronaVirus pandemic which has resulted in a severe lockdown and forced an unprecedented global crisis. But DIPR termination of Employees has come as a shocker from them.

He has appealed to the PM office and LG to intervene into the matter, so that order would be rectified and legal action would be initiated against the concerned officers who had violated the government order by terminating them.

Shabnum said that employees have always supported the initiative of the Government, but there are some officers who have vested interest in destabilizing the administration by issuing orders against the lower level employees and this order is also part of the conspiracy.

The EJAC president said that the Government understands fully how brilliantly these professionals were working in DIPR. They give their prime years of career to a department and the Government has given them reward in these crisis situations.

EJAC president has appealed to the Government to reconsider the decision as it will spoil the future of these hapless people and not to provoke them employees not to come on roads against the illegal decision.

In its May 5 order, DIPR disengaged as many as 45 stringers, from Kashmir and Jammu regions who worked as reporters, camerapersons and translators in the Government department for the last five years.