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6th Pay Commission Arrears, Jammu and Kashmir Government employees strike

Srinagar: Adamant government employees in Jammu and Kashmir refused to call off their strike Tuesday to demand payment of arrears of the 6th Pay Commission, a day after the government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them.

Work in all government schools and offices in towns and in block, district and divisional level government offices remained paralyzed for the second day Tuesday as employees didn't turn up for work despite warnings from the government.

"We will not succumb to the government threats and will continue the struggle for our just demands," Farooq Ahmad Trali of the employees' Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) told reporters here.

The government Monday vowed to implement the principle of no work, no pay against the strikers.

More than 450,000 government employees in Jammu and Kashmir are demanding payment of arrears according to the recommendation of the 6th Pay Commission and enhancement of the retirement age from 58 to 60.

Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters: "The government has been forced by the employees to invoke ESMA under which a striking employee will face one year imprisonment and a fine."

Heavy deployment of police has been made outside all directorate level offices in Srinagar to prevent demonstrations.

Reports reaching here from Ladakh indicated the strike was complete. Many students have complained that they are suffering because of the closure of government-run educational institutions.

"I had to go back home for the second day as my school remains closed. The employees must think of our careers," said Imtiyaz Ahmad, 16, a Class 10 student here. (IANS)

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