#TheShillongTimes Journalists Protest Against the Illegal Termination of their Colleagues

RAIOT stands in solidarity with the struggles of the protesting journalists of The Shillong Times, the richest paper of Meghalaya. Raiot Collective demands that the three journalists, namely EM Jose (News Editor), Nabamita Mitra (Features Editor) and Dipankar Roy (Executive Editor), should be immediately reinstated.

We, 12 staff of The Shillong Times, stand in solidarity with the three senior journalists—EM Jose (News Editor), Nabamita Mitra (Features Editor) and Dipankar Roy (Executive Editor)— whose services were terminated for “Covid-19 generated reasons” with effect from September 1, when they were in quarantine, although they were served the letters only on September 7; no prior intimation was given to them.

We condemn the management’s decision, which we feel is unethical and unjust, and as colleagues, we strongly object to such unwarranted ill-treatment meted out to the three senior members of the staff who have all along put in their best efforts in the interest of the newspaper.

Following the termination of their services, we started a protest from September 9, 2020 and on the same day a letter was sent to the management demanding their reinstatement. (Letter enclosed).

On our part, we have resolved not to work until the matter is settled.

We would also like to clarify that none of the agitating staff, who are protesting against the illegal termination of services of the three senior journalists, have RESIGNED as is being spread in some quarters with seemingly malicious motive. In fact, we have sent letters to the management but till now there is no response from their side.

On the other hand, though, we have reasons to believe that the management is trying to hire staff at a time when the company is said to be in dire financial state because of Covid- 19 related reasons which have forced it to resort to hefty pay cuts for the past four months.

We want to make it very clear that the protest is against the termination of services of our three extremely dedicated and sincere colleagues and we have no intention to harm the reputation of the organisation which is in its 75th year.

Our demand is to reinstate our colleagues at the earliest.

We are compelled to release this statement since we haven’t heard from the management even after three days of submitting the letter.

We will continue with our protest till our demand is met but resignation is not on our mind and it will never be.

We categorically reiterate that dialogue and not resignation is the agenda. We want our voices to be heard. The injustice meted out to our colleagues needs to be rectified and undone.

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