Tejasvi Effect: B’luru’s Muslim COVID Warriors Shunned Away, Again
Out of 17 Muslim staff members who lost their jobs, only one was reinstated. The rest are looking for employment.
Sixteen Muslim employees of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) who were sacked after Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP Tejasvi Surya called out their names in relation with a hospital ‘bed booking scam’, are far from reinstated, The Quint has gathered.
Despite three assurances from the city corporation which promised to re-employ them, none of the workers have started work. Four among them have also resigned from service.
BBMP had promised the contractual staffers that they will be employed in COVID war rooms, government hospitals and Urban Primary Health Centres.
Still Nowhere to Go
On 4 May, MP Surya had stormed into Bengaluru South’s COVID war room and read out the names of the employees without substantiating allegations against them. The Bengaluru police who subsequently questioned the employees have not booked them, as they had not found any incriminating evidence against them.
Tejasvi Surya’s theatrics had unleashed a communal social media campaign against the employees.
“I visited the UPHC that was assigned to me. They told me to go back home saying the manager would call me, but nobody called”, one of the aggrieved employees told The Quint.
“We kept checking with them over the week and they told us we would get a job eventually. But yesterday when we visited the office, our manager told us that there are no jobs,” he added.
All the employees are now trying to find employment elsewhere. “Due to the lockdown, we are unable to find any other jobs,” another employee, rued.
Denied Jobs, Four Resign
Even though several media outlets, based on statements from BBMP sources, had reported that the staffers will be reinstated, The Quint has gathered that only one among the seventeen was reinstated at the war room.
Some among the staffers were later told that they would be employed in war rooms far from their places of residence. On 26 May, most of them got a call saying they were allotted jobs at various constituencies near their residence. “We weren’t told about the nature of the job or what we need to do. They told us to visit the UPHC,” a sacked staff member said. Three others confirmed the same to The Quint.
Ultimately, only one was called back to work.
“We have been restlessly waiting. We have done nothing wrong. We would call them up and they would tell us that there’s no vacancy. Some of us have worked here dedicatedly for 10 months,” said the staffer.
The Quint has also found that four of the staff members have resigned from their contractual employment.
“We were initially hesitant to even re-join as we were hurt and heartbroken over what had happened. But, later we decided that we need to step-up and face them, after all, we hadn’t done anything wrong,” the staffer said.
Apart from some staffers who had joined the Bengaluru South war room in April this year, others had been working at the same war room for 10 months, when the MP dragged their names into the bed-scam. Currently, Bengaluru police who are investigating the bed-scam cases have arrested 11 people including a BJP MLA’s aide.
Speaking to The Quint, Crystal Infosystems Project manager Shiv Naiyak said, “These 17 staffers were replaced as soon as they were suspended. The calls and cases were increasing so they were replaced immediately”. He also claimed that they were planning to reduce manpower at the war rooms.
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