AP govt will invoke ESMA against Jr doctors: YSR

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Hyderabad, Dec 18 (UNI) Taking serious view of the continued strike by the junior doctors in the state, Andhra Pradesh Chief minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today warned that Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) would be invoked against them from tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference here, Dr Reddy said his government would take disciplinary action and invoke ESMA against the striking doctors if they did not call off their stir and resume duties and studies immediately.

Stating that the state government had already conceded their demands and agreed to bring in an ordinance for the protection of doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and junior doctors at all government and private hosptials, he said the junior doctors should give up thier adamant attitute.

''The government has given utmost respect to their demands and ratified the promulgation of an ordinance. The junior doctors should not forget their responsibilities also '', Dr Reddy added.

Observing that the attacks on junior doctors at Niloufer hospital on December 2 and at Nayapool Maternity hosptial on Decemebr 14 were 'unfortunate incidents', he said the police have already arrested Asif Nagar MLA Afsar Khan and released him on bail in connection with the December 2 incident. There is no need to arrest Charminar MLA Ahmed Pasha Khadri as he had no role in the attack on junior doctors at Maternity hospital.

Police could not investigate the cases as per demands put forth by the junior doctors. The investigation into the two incidents was in progress and the government could not involve itself in the probe, Dr Reddy said adding 'it was not proper to demand the arrest of the two MLAs'.

The junior doctors have been continuing their strike by boycotting duties in all government hospitals since December 14 demanding the arrest of two MLAs.

UNI

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