Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir has asked the TRS government to roll back the decision to convert regular employees of Mecca Masjid and Royal Mosque into outsourcing staff.

"The Minorities Welfare Department has issued a circular converting the regular jobs of as many as 30 employees of two historic mosques - Mecca Masjid and Royal Mosque, Public Gardens into 'outsourcing' or 'contract' with effect from March 31, 2021. This circular has created unrest among employees, their families, and common Muslims, in general. This circular should be withdrawn immediately," he said in an open letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday.

Shabbir Ali alleged that the TRS government was doing utter injustice with the employees of both the historic mosques who have rendered selfless service for the last so many years. "It is atrocious to link their services with a private agency so as to deprive them good salaries and other benefits," he said.

He said the state government has recently announced increased retirement age of employees to 61 years. "But the attitude of your government towards the employees of Mecca Masjid and Royal Mosque clearly shows that you are treating them as a burden on the State's exchequer. You repeatedly claim that your government treats all religions and religious places equally. Therefore, you must prove this with your actions and not by mere words. The state government has drafted service rules for the employees of all major temples and they get salaries and other benefits on par with other government employees. However, the government did nothing for the employees of both the historic mosques, and now it was turning their regular service into 'outsourced' mode. Their HRAs and DAs too have been stopped," he said.

Shabbir Ali pointed out that the Khateeb, Imam, and Maozan were highly respectable positions and it would be an insult for them if the state government treats them as 'outsourced' employees. "The employees of both the mosques can retire at the age of 65 years. They also get 15 days' leave and Rs. 3 lakh at the time of retirement. Once they are 'outsourced', they will be deprived of all these benefits," he said.

Shabbir Ali demanded that all the employees of Mecca Masjid and Royal Mosque should be made permanent. "They should also be given a hike in their salaries and other benefits. Presently they get only Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 17,000 per month, which is less than the salary of Home Guards. I also request you to kindly take measures to recruit additional staff as the workforce has remained unchanged since 1976," he said.


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