The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) on Sunday lambasted the management of Topcem Cement for ‘offering job’ to a Bangladeshi diplomat’s wife in Guwahati.
Topcem Cement had appointed Munera Azam, wife of Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner to Guwahati – Shah Mohammad Tanvir Mansur, as its senior manager (marketing & sales).
Munera Azam joined Topcem Cement’s parent company – Meghalaya Cement Limited in March Guwahati.
Samujjal Bhattacharya, chief adviser of AASU said Topcem Cement’s decision to appoint Munera Azam is against the spirit of the historic Assam Accord, and will not be tolerated.
“While lakhs of youths in Assam are unemployed, appointment of a Bangladeshi diplomat’s wife in a company that runs from the state is not acceptable,” Bhattacharya said.
While lambasting the management of Topcem Cement, the AASU leader said it is the duty of the Assam government to ensure that such a thing did not happen.
“Unfortunately, the state government as well as the Centre failed miserably. Youths from Assam and Northeast should get first preference in all jobs,” Bhattacharya said.
As per Clause 6 of Assam Accord, there is provision for exclusive job reservations in Central, PSUs, state and private sectors for the youths of Assam, the AASU leader said.
“The State Government should check as to which corporate company in Assam has employed whom,” Bhattacharya maintained.
In fact, Topcem Cement’s decision to appoint Munera Azam as a senior manager has drawn large-scale criticism on social media.
Frustrated educated unemployed youths have started questioning Topcem Cement’s ‘intentions’ in appointing Munera Azam in a senior position in the company.
People described the ‘job offer’ to the Bangladeshi diplomat’s spouse as a ‘dividend’ for some kind of a ‘special favour’ to the company, which is headed by a controversial Guwahati-based business tycoon, Kailash Lohia.
Interestingly, management of Topcem Cement is maintaining ‘total silence’ on the controversial appointment of Munera Azam, wife of Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner to Guwahati.
Despite repeated attempts by this correspondent, Anil Kapur, president of Topcem Cement on Sunday did not receive any calls.
Similarly, Kailash Lohia, chairman of Topcem Cement also remained incommunicado for the last 48 hours.
Surprisingly, the management of Topcem Cement also did not issue any statement till Sunday evening on the controversial appointment of Munera Azam.
Echoing AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya’s views, KMSS leader Deben Sarma said corporate houses in Assam have failed to address the issue of spiraling unemployment in the State.
“Companies like Topcem Cement are here in Assam only to mint money and employ Bangladeshi nationals in top positions,” Sarma said.
Sarma questioned, “How couldn’t the management of Topcem Cement find any suitable candidate in Assam? Do they mean to say that Assam doesn’t have any qualified person to get the job of a senior manager?”
The KMSS leader also took a dig at Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who always promises to protect Assam’s Jati, Mati and Bheti. “He (the Chief Minister) is here only to keep the corporate houses in good humour,” Sarma said.
Akash Doley, general secretary of KMSS’s Guwahati committee said the BJP Government in Assam has turned into slaves of the corporate houses.
“Appointment of a Bangladeshi citizen in a big corporate house in Guwahati is a serious issue,” Doley said, adding that Assam is already caught in the whirlpool of a demographic challenge because of a large scale migration from Bangladesh.
“Lakhs of Assamese youths have lost their jobs. And at the same time, a Bangladeshi national has been given a high-profile job in Guwahati. This is shocking,” Doley said.
Meanwhile, the student community in Assam also criticised the move. Students’ leader Hirakjyoti Bora has blamed the Assam Government for the controversial appointment of Munera Azam by Topcem Cement.
“As the BJP Government has a soft corner for Bangladesh, the wife of a Bangladeshi diplomat has been appointed to a top post in the corporate house,” Hirakjyoti Bora said.
Bora said the BJP-led government came to power on the basis of its promise of protecting the Jati, Mati and Bheti of Assam. “But now we realized that their primary aim is to appease foreigners, especially from Bangladeshis in Assam,” he said.
There is a major ‘conspiracy’ behind Munera Azam’s appointment by Topcem Cement, Bora said, adding that the corporate honchos are spearheading the game plan.
“The state government has been claiming to detect and deport Bangladeshis, instead it is encouraging corporate houses to offer jobs to Bangladeshi nationals,” Hirakjyoti said.
The students’ and youth leaders were of the opinion that Munera Azam is neither skilled nor experienced to be the senior marketing & sales manager of Topcem Cement.