53 striking NHM employees dismissed
The Haryana government on Thursday dismissed another 53 of around 12,000 employees of National Health Mission (NHM) who continued their strike for the third day to press for their demands, including regularisation of their services.
As health services across the state continued to be hit by the strike, health minister Anil Vij also ordered imposition of Section 144 of Cr PC within a radius of one km of hospitals so as to keep striking employees at a distance.
Vij said those dismissed included nine NHM employees each in Gurugram and Sirsa districts, six each in Sonepat and Palwal, five in Panchkula, four each in Faridabad and Jind, three each in Bhiwani and Rewari, and two each in Hisar and Karnal.
“They were preventing other employees from performing their duties. Earlier also, we had dismissed six employee leaders,” he said.
Similar action would be taken against those who would continue the strike, he added.
On the impact of the strike on health services in the state, Vij said orders had been issued to all civil surgeons to engage new drivers for ambulances in place of the drives of the referral transport services who went on strike, so that patients did not suffer.
He said a number of striking employees had decided to return to work in various districts that on Thursday.
Meanwhile, extending support to the NHM employees’ protest, the Haryana Sarv Karmchari Sangh urged chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to intervene to resolve the issue.
WON’T TOLERATE STRIKE: VIJ
Health minister Anil Vij said strike cannot be tolerated at a time when NHM employees are needed the most as there was outbreak of dengue and chikungunya in the state. “They were warned not to go on strike, still they went ahead with it,” he said while alleging that former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had appointed his workers in NHM during the Congress regime by setting aside all rules. “Now, these employees are instigating and forcing others to go on strike,” he added.
WILL FIGHT TILL END: NHM
Dr Atul Gijwani, general secretary, NHM employees’ association, said, “It is unjust on the part of government to have taken such a stand against us. It is our right to demand regularisation of our service as most of us have been working with NHM for over 15 years at low salaries. Also, the state government had assured us of regularising our services and even started preparing a policy to do so on the lines of Punjab and New Delhi. If the government continues stifling our voice, we will intensify our agitation.”