As news of the suicide threat spread, a huge crowd thronged the hospital shouting slogans against the management. They crowd then blocked the adjoining national highway linking Kochi and Dhanushkodi.
The police had to baton charge the crowds on couple of occasions when some of them started pelting stones as tensions rose.
An Independence Day rally led by the municipal chairman was passing through the area and the agitating crowd and rally participants started shouting slogans against each other, sparking more tensions.
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan spoke to the nurses’ representative and called up Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Finally a deal was brokered and the hospital announced that the demands would be met. The protest was then called off.
However, as soon as the protesters left, the hospital reneged on the deal. The strike has resumed.
Earlier Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John claimed “we have been involved in settling their (nurses) issues and statutory policies are now being followed by the hospital management.
“My officials have held numerous talks to settle the issue and now it appears that the strike is getting prolonged because of rivalry between two nurses’ unions.”
Top officials of the police, district administration and labour department are camping at the site.
Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John said that the police and hospital management are doing their best to pacify the nurses to see that better sense prevailed and they came down from the terrace.
"Fire officials are there and we expect the situation to be defused soon," he said.
"We have been involved in settling their (nurses) issues and statutory policies are now being followed by the hospital management," John said.
The three nurses, to attract attention, went to the terrace of the hospital building early in the morning.