Former employees of Avadhnama, whose Mumbai edition was shut down after it reproduced Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon of Prophet Mohammed, have claimed that the incident which has left two dozen people unemployed was deliberately planned by the management to get out of financial problems.
“The entire incident was planned to get out of the legal, financial and monetary obligations that the owners were bound to as part of the agreement of running the paper. The paper was facing financial problems and this incident was scripted to shut down the paper and get rid of all present and former employees who were not paid their salaries,” Saeed Hameed, a former associate editor of the paper and member of the ‘Mumbai Avadhnama Patrakar Sangharsh Samiti’ said during a press conference.
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The Avadhnama’s Mumbai edition was presently being run by Marik Media and Communications Pvt Ltd. They had got into an agreement with the original owners in Lucknow to publish the paper in Mumbai by paying a monthly royalty of Rs 1 lakh from June 2015.
“The management can now tell the court that the newspaper has been shut down due to the (cartoon) controversy and is completely bankrupt. This way, the management can escape from the responsibility of paying pending dues to its ex- employees,” Hameed said.
The Samiti also claimed they wanted law to take its own course against Avadhnama. “We do not approve of any threats to Dalvi or her family. However, due to her behaviour, close to a dozen people have lost their livelihood,” Nehaal Sagheer, an ex-employee of Avadhnama said. Meanwhile Dalvi has moved court seeking details of all cases registered against her in the state.