Sibal and his wife referred to female staffer as Kutiya: Amid reports of shutdown, Tiranga TV journalist Barkha Dutt lashes out at Channel’s promoter Kapil Sibal

Congress leader Kapil Sibal funded news channel, Tiranga TV has suddenly disappeared from several leading cable and direct-to-home (DTH) services. This led many to speculate that the channel is probably planning to pull the plug.

The reports suggest that the promoters of the channel, Kapil Sibal and his wife Promila Sibal are asking staffer to quit the job with a month’s salary as compensation. However now it seems like the channels speculated demise might come sooner than later. In a series of tweets on Monday, senior journalist Barkha Dutt who used to host a show on the channel, lashed out at its promoters, Kapil Sibal and his wife Promila Sibal.

Dutt in her tweets, made several serious allegations against Sibal and his wife. Dutt criticised the promoters of Tiranga TV for offering just a month of salary as compensation, when in media sector, usually three to six months of salary is given as compensation when an employer asks the employees to quit. She further claimed that when the channel first began, all the staffers of the channel were given an assurance of atleast two years of tenure. She said that because of this assurance, many turned down other offers or left pervious jobs to join the Tiranga TV.

She alleged that Sibal’s wife Promila Sibal constantly talks of how she closed down her previous venture of meat without giving a penny as compensation to the labours. “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,” Dutt said.

Dutt claimed that Sibal wanted to close down the channel by putting the onus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when in reality there are no interferences from Government of India. “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,” she said.

Dutt went on to accuse Sibal and his wife Promila Sibal of abusing the female staffer in the channel. She said that it is a fitting case for the National Commission for women and that they would back up their allegation using signed affidavit. “Worst of all, @KapilSibal & wife have referred to female staffers as “Kutiya”or Bitch. This is a fit case for NCW @sharmarekha & we will place signed affidavits to prove our case.”

Barkha Dutt has urged the media fraternity to stand up in unison for the rights of the Tiranga TV employees.

Apart from Kapil Sibal, other senior Congress leaders like P Chidambaram and DK Shivakumar were also involved with the channel. When the channel first began operations, the journalists were given an assurance of a professional newsroom and it said that the results of the Lok Sabha elections would not affect it. However, now the reports suggest, after debacle that Congress party feced in the elections, senior leaders like Sibal and Chidambaram have lost interest in continuing with the project.