Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (I&B), Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, today announced a payment of Rs. 15 lakhs to the family of the deceased Doordarshan cameraman, Achyuta Nanda Sahu, who lost his life while on duty in Chhatisgarh due to an attach by Maoists. The Minister also announced that employment would be provided for Sahu’s wife. In addition to Sahu, two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans also lost their lives during the attack.
The I&B Minister spoke of the unfortunate incident resulting in the death of the cameraman, saying, “Deeply saddened by the demise of our cameraman Achyuta Nanda Sahu and two jawans of CRPF. These insurgents will not weaken our resolve. We will prevail.” The attack took place while a contingent of police personnel were patrolling the forest area in Aranpur, in Dantewada District of Chhatisgarh. The Maoists ambushed the party resulting in the deaths of two CRPF jawans and Sahu.
Following this incident, Prasar Bharati is considering extending health and life insurance to contract staff as well. Sahu was hired on contract, as are the majority of new staff who have been working for the national broadcaster in what was obviously a measure to make lean its human resources expenditure when it comes to new employment.
It appears that in spite of the I&B Ministry’s ex-gratia payment of Rs. 15 lakhs, contract employees at Doordarshan have demanded that the payment be Rs. 35 lakhs at least, signing a petition to this effect.