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200 agitating nurses held, released later

PTI Nov 29, 2018

Around 200 agitating nurses were arrested from two state-run medical college and hospitals of Assam on November 28, the third day of their strike, only to be released later, officials said.

The nurses under the banner of All Assam Nurses' Association (AANA) were on strike in two hospitals since Monday to press for their demands including alleged pay anomalies. The authorities imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the premises of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) on Wednesday morning, official sources said.

When the agitating AANA members in their nurses' uniform assembled in front of the two hospitals and started raising slogans, around 100 nurses from each of the hospitals were arrested, the sources said. The nurses of the GMCH were taken away in buses to a temporary jail set up in the 4th Assam Police Battalion Headquarters at Kahilipara area of Guwahati and were released later, police said.

The AANA members claimed that Health Minister Pijush Hazarika had called them for a meeting on Tuesday but after their representatives reached his office, the meeting was cancelled all of a sudden. The minister could not be reached for his comment.

The AANA members were demanding, among others, 'same post same salary', restoration of the abolished designation of 'staff nurse' instead of 'nurse', solution of "pay anomalies". They asserted that they had placed their demands before the government several times but received no positive response.

On their strike affecting functioning in the hospitals, they said, "The government will be responsible for any eventuality as it has driven us to this point by not heeding to our repeated demands". The authorities of the GMCH and the JMCH said functioning of the hospitals were affected as other nurses were engaged. Nurses and faculty from the Regional Nursing Colleges attached to the GMCH and the JMCH, nursing supervisors and nurses undergoing training in the hospitals, paramedical interns were pressed into service, they said.

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