A total of 49 nurses, employed by the government on a contract basis from across 32 districts in the State, have been issued showcause notices for participating in the protest last month.

They have been given 15 days to submit a letter of explanation to S. Paranjyoti, the Director of Medical Services (DMS), who issued the notice. The members of the Tamil Nadu Government Contract Nurses Welfare Association (TGCNWA) submitted letters to the DMS and Health Minister V.S. Vijay on Thursday requesting them to revoke the memo.

More than 800 contract nurses from primary health care centres across the State took part in the protest staged by the Tamil Nadu Medical Workers’ Federation (TNMWF) on June 16. More than 1,500 contract nurses of the government sent telegrams to the Chief Minister on Monday and Tuesday, seeking regularisation of services, among others.

G. R. Ravindranath, president of TNMWF said, “This is a direct violation of our fundamental rights. The demonstration was peaceful and the public was not disturbed. Moreover, the list has names of nurses who were not even present at the demonstration.” According to the DMS, however, the list was compiled based on the reports filed by the Joint Directors from all districts listing the nurses who were off duty on June 16.

According to Dr. Paranjyoti, “They have deviated from the regulations mentioned in the contract. They are not supposed to take part in any agitation without prior notification.” Highlighting the fact that their contract clearly mentions that nurses would be made permanent as per vacancies, he indicated that the nurses had no grounds to protest on.

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