Jammu: Police on Monday lathicharged government employees in Jammu and Kashmir when they tried to march towards Secretariat here in support of their demand for release of 6th Pay Commission arrears by the state government.
Total strike was observed for third consecutive day
in government offices, civil secretariat, PSUs and autonomous
bodies in connection with the call given by Joint Consultative
Committee (JCC), Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) and
Civil Secretariat Employees union (CSEU) in support of the
demand for release of pay commission arrears and enhancement
of retirement age from 58 to 60.
About 5,000 government employees assembled at City
Chowk under the banner of EJAC and JCC and marched towards the
Civil secretariat raising anti-government slogans.
However, heavy police force was deployed in and around
the civil secretariat -- the seat of power in J&K.
Led by SSP Jammu, Basant Rath, police intercepted the
employees and stopped them from moving to secretariat, police
said adding employees clashed with the police.
Police resorted to cane charge and teargas shelling on
employees resulting in minor injuries to five.
"We will continue the strike till the demands are
met," CSEU President Nazir Ahmed told reporters.
Members of opposition parties -- Chaman Lal Gupta of
BJP, Harsh Dev Singh of Panthers party (JKNPP) and M Y
Tarigami of CPI(M) charged the Omar Abdullah government with
total failure in the state assembly to break the deadlock with
"Over 4 lakh employees are on strike for the past
several days. Government is totally defunct. How can you run
the government," they said.
Making a statement, Finance Minister Abdul Rahim
Rather said state government has asked employees to shun the
path of confrontation.
He said government was sincere in fulfilling the
demands of employees but it depends on availability of funds.
"We had gone to 13th Finance commission with the
demand but it was turned down. Later, the Chief Minister met
Prime Minister and the process is going on," Rather said.