Srinagar, April 17 (IANS) Police used water canon and batons in the Exhibition Road area here Tuesday to disperse hundreds of state employees, who were demonstrating to press their demand for raising the retirement age from the present 58 to 60 years.
Work in state government offices was affected as thousands of employees stayed way and staged demonstrations across the Kashmir Valley to press their demand.
'Several of our peaceful protestors were arrested by the police,' an agitating state employee said.
'The state government is backing out of a written agreement with us but we will not allow this to happen,' he added.
'We will hold a peaceful demonstration outside the civil secretariat in Srinagar on May 7 and if our demands are not met till then, we will observe strike on May 8 and May 9', said Abdul Qayoom Wani, leader of Employees' Joint Consultative Committee (JCC).
The demand for raising the retirement age for the state government employees has become a ticklish issue as those opposed to the move assert it would result in a two-year moratorium on government employment. This, they point out, would add to the swelling numbers of unemployed youths in the state.
However, those favouring the move maintain that once the retirement age is raised and superannuation is halted for two years, the state government would save millions of Rupees that could be used for creating more jobs and speeding up the pace of development in the state.
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