The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Museum unions pack off boss

A prolonged agitation by two employees’ unions has forced Indian Museum director Shyamal Kanti Chakraborty to stay away from office for the past two weeks. In his absence, union activists on Wednesday gheraoed deputy director Shakti Kali Basu and insisted he concede to some of their demands. Basu, however, pleaded his inability to do so, on the grounds that he did not have the authority.

Museum sources said director Chakraborty had refused to attend office until the unions removed the posters they had pasted in the administrative building. Both unions have put up posters accusing Chakraborty of going soft on “corrupt” officials.

The Indian Museum Employees’ Association had gheraoed Chakraborty about two weeks ago, demanding that vacant Group-D posts be filled by “compassionate appointments”. The director had refused, as the Union government has recently imposed a restriction on such appointments. The union stuck to its demand, forcing Chakraborty to stop attending office.

Another union, the Indian Museum Employees’ Welfare Association, has submitted a memorandum to governor Viren J. Shah, who is also chairman of the Indian Museum board of trustees, claiming the authorities were granting “compassionate appointments” in violation of Union government rules. The union alleged that four posts had been given to relatives of retired museum employees.

The museum, since its inception, has filled Group-D posts by “compassionate appointments”. By the system, a Group-D employee is allowed to retire on medical grounds much before the age of superannuation. The post then goes to his son or a kin.

The union said a number of Group-D employees had forwarded bogus medical certificates and sought premature retirement.

Deputy director Basu refused comment. “I am not the right person to speak on this,” he said.

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