Jammu and Kashmir Information deptt employees partly call off strike

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SRINAGAR, OCT 12: Jammu and Kashmir Information and Public Relations (DIPR) employees, who are on an indefinite strike, today agreed to carry out public relation works, but not distribute advertisements to media organisations.

The employees stopped work yesterday demanding revocation of attachment of a joint director in the department by the state government.

“Following assurance of the director of information, the protesting employees decided to end their strike partially by resuming the PR (public relation) work in the department from this evening,” a Information Department Employees Union press release said.

However, the distribution of advertisements to newspapers by DIPR offices in Kashmir and Jammu divisions would remain suspended till the demand is met by the government, it said.

Director Information Muneer-ul-Islam urged employees to resume work and assured them that their demands would be taken up.

The government had yesterday attached the department’s Joint Director (Kashmir) Zahoor Ahmad Mir, pending an enquiry into alleged irrational distribution of advertisements among the print media.

Employees of the advertisement wing are also subjected to frequent intimidation and harassment by editors of some small organisations who demand a lion’s share of advertisements and other monetary benefits for their publications, a spokesman of the union said.

In the recent past, the frequency of such incidents has increased alarmingly, he alleged.

“In some incidents such editors resorted to use of the nastiest abuses against the officers and officials of the information department for advertisements,” the spokesman said.

He claimed that last week an editor barged into the office of the joint director and abused, intimidated and threatened officers.

The striking employees have sought the intervention of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Information Minister Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali in ensuring their security and dignity, he said.

They have also sought the cooperation of the Kashmir Editors Guild, J&K Joint Forum of Newspaper Editors, Editors Guild Jammu, Working Journalists Association Kashmir and Jammu Press Club.