Madhya Pradesh cracks down on striking nurses, 100 arrested
Bhopal: At least 100 nurses were arrested here and 10 suspended Thursday after they refused to call off their strike despite the Madhya Pradesh government invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to prevent any disruption of health services in the state.
"We have yet to get the exact number of how many nurses were arrested, but it is more than hundred so far," Director of Medical Education V.K. Saini said.
The striking nurses have threatened to resign en masse Friday if their demands for a hike in salary and other benefits are not met.
Around 3,500 nurses of five medical colleges - two in Bhopal and one each in Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur - are on an indefinite strike since Wednesday.
They are demanding benefits of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, raising their retirement age to 65 years and increasing the stipend given to trainee nurses.
The state government invoked ESMA Tuesday night.
Apart from those arrested, seven nurses in Gwalior and three in Jabalpur were suspended. Among them was president of the Madhya Pradesh Nurses Association Rekha Parmar.
"We have suspended seven nurses from our medical college. And action will be taken soon on the others too," dean of the Gajara Raja Medical College in Gwalior Dr. Kamal Bhadoria said.
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