North East Union of Working Journalists (NEUWJ) expressed its anger over the sudden closure of Janasadharan, an Assamese daily published simultaneously from Guwahati and Dibrugarh, since 19 November 2016 and requested the management to continue publishing the mainstream newspaper.
Days back, the owner of the Janasadharan called all the employees and expressed his inability to continue publishing the daily as, according to him, ‘it was losing readers rapidly’. Later a closure notice, though without anybody’s signature, was also put on the office notice board.
The NEUWJ argued that many newspaper house-owners in northeast India start closing their media outlets fearing of the Supreme Court’s verdict over the implementation of Majithia Wage Board recommendations for the benefit of the print media (also news agency) employees.
According to the apex court, each and every newspaper and news agency in India must hike the salary and other benefits to their employees since November 2011 under the new wage board recommendations. As most of the media houses in the region have not implemented the recommendations till date, the deprived employees now claim up to 60 months’ outstanding payments.
The NEUWJ, in a statement issued by Joykanta Sarma, Rupam Barua, Pulin Kalita, Manoj Agasti etc, appealed to the Janasadharan management to rethink over its decision to close down the publication as it can render hundred employees jobless.
“For any unwanted reason, if the management cannot republish the newspaper, we demand legal compensations to each and every employee of the media house,” added the statement urging the State authority to look into the issue immediately.
Additionally, the northeastern scribes’ body appealed to the editor of the newspaper, Dr Sivanath Barman, who is a recognized Assamese intellectual (inclined to the Left ideology) to take personal interest in pursuing the matter with the management to resolve the crisis amicably.