Andhra nurses call off hunger strike atop water tank (Lead)

December 6th, 2010 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Dec 6 (IANS) Nurses of a government-run hospital in Warangal Monday called off their indefinite hunger strike atop an overhead water tank after the government agreed to consider their demands, including regularisation of services.

The nurses came down from their perch atop the water tank after a government official promised them that the police cases booked against them would be withdrawn. The nurses were booked after they launched the protest.

Braving the cold, the nurses were staying for three days on the water tank at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital (MGM) in Warangal town, about 140 km from here.

The condition of five nurses had worsened and they have now been admitted to hospital for treatment.

The nurses set Dec 19 as the fresh deadline for the government to regularise their services.

Earlier, the nurses threatened to jump from the tank if police made any attempt to force them down and to end their hunger strike. A group of nurses was sitting on the ground around the tank to prevent police from clambering up the water tank to get the fasting nurses down.

The hospital officials also agreed to other demands, including postponement of nursing exam scheduled to be held Dec 12, by one week.

Leaders of various parties, including the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), had extended their support to the nurses.

Last month, contract nurses had gone on an indefinite fast on the water tank in the hospital premises. They had called off the fast after two days following an assurance from the hospital authorities.

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