Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in the wake of the strike by doctors which entered its sixth day today, paralysing health services in the state.
An official spokesman of the UP government said that the decision to invoke ESMA came amidst reports of deaths of patients across the state due to the strike.
However, the striking doctors stuck to their demand that cases be lodged against Samajwadi Party MLA Irfan Solanki for allegedly beating up junior doctors in Kanpur. The doctors, who are seeking withdrawal of cases lodged against 24 of their colleagues who were arrested over the incident, have also demanded action against Kanpur SSP Yashaswi Yadav.
The Allahabad High Court today ordered the transfer of Yadav after taking suo motu cognisance in the matter.
"Our campaign will continue... If there is any attempt to nab us, we will resign en masse. If we are no longer in government service, ESMA would not apply to us," president of the junior doctors` association, Aditya Patel, told a news agency.
"There is no scope for ending the deadlock... Whatever action is being taken is against us... Cases should be lodged against Solanki and Yadav and action should be initiated against them," Patel said while alleging that doctors were being harassed all over the state.
"Junior doctors were beaten up at the railway station at Saifai (Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav`s native village)... Those lodged in jail have been kept in separate barracks and their families are not being allowed to meet them," he said.
Patel said transferring the SSP was not enough and called for the cases against the doctors to be withdrawn. Although the 24 doctors have been released on bail, they refused to come out of the jail, officials, meanwhile, said.
(With PTI inputs)