Chemists suspend protest in wake of high alert

State Home Minister RR Patil had asked chemists to discontinue their eight-hour working norm, in light of the high alert sounded across the country.

Prasad Danave, general secretary of Retail Dispensing Chemists Association (RDCA), said, “We have decided to call off our strike and operate as per regular working hours owing to the terror alert across the state. FDA minister Manohar Naik has assured us that our demands will soon be considered and our issues will be sorted out.”

Since Tuesday, chemists were operating not before 10 am, and shutting shop at 6 pm to register their protest against the FDA’s crackdown on them. Chemists alleged that FDA officials were harassing those storeowners who operated without a qualified chemist.

The chemists said they would work for shorter hours, leaving several patients in the lurch, as they were unable to procure essential medicines after 6 pm. Chemist associations said that Home Minister RR Patil asked them to cooperate with the state and people particularly because of the high alert situation.

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