Srinagar: Government employees across the Kashmir Valley started their two-day pen down strike on Tuesday to press for their demands, affecting the normal functioning of offices.

Work in most state government offices in Srinagar and other district headquarters of the Kashmir Valley took a hit because of the employees' strike, police sources here said.

The employees have demanded enhancement in their retirement age from the existing 58 to 60 years, payment of arrears as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, regularisation of daily wage and ad hoc employees, and increase in the remunerations of Anganwadi (children's day-care) workers.

Dozens of striking employees presented a memorandum of demands to the district magistrate in Srinagar. The state government maintains that enhancement in the retirement age of the employees would add to the problems of thousands of educated, unemployed youths.

State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said recently that the government has already accepted most of the genuine demands of its employees and is prepared to discuss others with an open mind.

According to reports from Jammu, police intervened to disperse a protest march by the striking employees and arrested dozens of them. Khurshid Alam, leader of state government employees' joint action committee, told by phone that he along with some other employees' leaders has been arrested and lodged in a police station in Jammu.


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