New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has invited department heads of the HTN Tiranga TV channel to discuss the way forward and resolve the issue of pending salaries of 200 employees, after journalist Barkha Dutt on Monday opened a scathing attack against Sibal and his wife on Twitter.
In a tweetstorm, Dutt accused the Sibals of not paying 200 employees at their venture HTN Tiranga TV channel for six months and threatening her with defamation for supporting the staff.
HTN, originally known as Harvest TV Network, went live on January 26 this year. Later, the name was changed to HTN Tiranga TV.
“An appalling situation in @NewsHtn promoted by @KapilSibal & his wife, where more than 200 employees have had equipment confiscated and face sackings without even a 6 month pay out. Man who acts holier than though in public has treated journalists in a hideous way,” Dutt tweeted.
“Most people here, gave up other offers or left jobs on an assurance from @KapilSibal of a professionally run newsroom and a minimum tenure of 2 years. Neither husband nor wife have even showed up to talk to staff. But all live programming has been cancelled for 48 hrs,” she continued.
Dutt said that for fighting for rights of staff, she has been threatened with defamation and ordered to “withdraw my emails” comparing @KapilSibal to Vijay Mallya.
“I have refused. I support the staff of @NewsHtn and will help them fight this legally, with a criminal case and complain,” she said.
“Wife, who ran a meat factory, says loudly in the workplace, ‘I shut down factory withut giving a paisa to labour, who are these journalists to ask for 6 months salary.’ Her labour should have been paid better, but her disparaing remarks of journalists is sickening,” the journalist lamanted.
She urged friends in the media fraternity and everyone with a voice to tweet @KapilSibal till he pays employees.
“Am told @KapilSibal & wife wanted to use Modi as excuse to sack staff saying Modi didnt let channel run. But to be absolutely blunt. GOI has done nothing. Husband and wife have not faced staff, went on holiday to london, while shutting shop, prompting me to call him Mallya,” tweeted Dutt.