AP govt will invoke ESMA against Jr doctors: CM

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Hyderabad, Dec 18 (UNI) Taking a serious view on the continuing strike by junior doctors, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today warned that Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) would be invoked against them from tomorrow.

Addressing the press here, he said the government would take disciplinary action and invoke ESMA against the junior doctors from tomorrow, if they did not call off their strike and join duty immediately.

Stating the state govenrment had already conceded their demands and approved to bring an ordinance for the protection of doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and junior doctors at all government and private hosptials, Dr Reddy said the junior medicos should give up their adamant attitude and join duty without any delay.

'The government has given utmost respect to their demands and ratified the promulgation of an ordinance, Dr Reddy pointed out.

Observing that the attacks on junior doctors at Niloufer hospital on December 2 and at Nayapool Maternity hosptial on Decemebr 14, were 'unfortunate incidents,' the Chief Minister said the police had already arrested Asif Nagar MLA Afsar Khan and released him on bail in connection with the December 2 incident.

There was no need to arrest Charminar MLA Ahmed Pasha Khadri as he had no role in the attack on junior doctors at the Maternity hospital, he said.

Police cannot investigate the cases as per demands put forth by the junior doctors. As the investigation into the two incidents was on, the government could not involve itself in the probe, Dr Reddy said adding 'it was improper to demand the arrest of the two MLAs.' The junior doctors were continuing their strike by boycotting duties in all government teaching hospitals in the state since December 14, demanding the arrest of two legislators.

UNI

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