The Uttar Pradesh government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) banning strikes in all departments and corporations under it for a period of six months. A notification to this effect was issued by Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey Monday night.
The move comes in the wake of a strike call given by certain government organisations from February 6 demanding implementation of the old pension scheme. The ESMA, as it is commonly known, gives the police right to arrest without a warrant anybody violating the Act's provisions.
In an official release issued here, the government said strikes have been banned with immediate effect in any public service including corporations and local bodies. Under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968, employees in a long list of "essential services" like post and telegraph, railway, airport and port operations are prohibited from going on strike.
The Act mandates imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both, to any person who instigates a strike which is illegal under this Act The government has already invoked ESMA in every service of the state universities established under the Uttar Pradesh State Universities Act, 1973, including constituent colleges, associated colleges and affiliated colleges.
(With inputs from agencies.)