Employees injured in police action in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Employees injured in police action in Indian-controlled Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Scores of employees were injured Monday after police used water cannons and batons to thwart local government employees protest march in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.

The employees were demanding regularization of daily wage workers, casual laborers and need-based workers.

They were also demanding their pending salaries be released and paid regularly.

Hundreds of employees of the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department assembled near the Central Telegraph Office and tried to march towards city center of Lal Chowk. The protesting employees shouting anti-government slogans to press for their demands were stopped by policemen deployed in full strength.

"We sprayed colored water on them to disperse them," said a police official. "Their assembly was resulting in traffic mess and causing inconvenience to pedestrians."Reports said dozens of protesting employees were detained by police.

"Government is not fulfilling our demands, so we are taking to roads," said a visibly angry employee. "Instead of listening to us they are using force against us." Shabir Ahmad Tantray, vice chairman of the employees' association told media around 60 protesting employees sustained injuries in police action.

The local government employees have long been protesting against the government seeking enhancement in their retirement age from 58 to 60, increase in housing and rental allowance, regularization of contractual and daily wage employees, increase in cost of living allowance (COLA) and removal of pay anomalies.

Indian-controlled Kashmir has around 450,000 employees serving various government-run departments.