Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses serious concern over the closure of a Bengali newspaper in Agartala and urged the concerned authority to help resume its publication at the earliest. Moreover, the scribes’ body asked the Press Trust of India (PTI) management to rethink about its decision to sack nearly 300 employees.
It may be noted that Daily Desher Katha (www.dailydesherkatha.net), one of the oldest vernacular daily newspapers of eastern India that also functioned as Tripura CPI(M)’s mouthpiece, has not hit the stands since 2 October 2018, as its registration was canceled the previous day. The notice to the four decade-old Bengali newspaper, published from Agartala, was issued by the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI).
The RNI’s letter to the newspaper management mentioned the ‘unauthorized change of ownership’ of the media house that had been supported by a report from the West Tripura district magistrate. Samir Paul, editor of the popular newspaper, however denied any irregularity in the change of ownership of the daily.
“We insist on continuing publication of Daily Desher Katha as it involves the livelihoods of many media employees and also thousands of readers across Tripura. The RNI ought to consider permitting resumption of its publication with necessary rectifications,” said a media statement issued by JFA from its Guwahati office.
The northeast India based forum also requested the PTI management to reconsider its decision to sack nearly 300 employees. It may be mentioned that these employees, mostly long-serving and engaged in non-journalistic work, were suddenly served termination notices on the ground that there was ‘no work for them’.
However, the PTI employees union leader refuted this ground for termination of service, pointing out that the sacked employees had been extensively trained in other useful work for the news agency.