Work in most government departments across Jammu and Kashmir came to a halt on Thursday as employees went on a three-day strike to press their demand for enhancing the retirement age to 60 years, rejecting the government's appeal to shun the path of confrontation.
Nearly 4.5 lakh employees remained off duty as the three-day strike called by joint consultative committee (JCC) of government employees, an umbrella group of several employees' unions, kicked off.
The key demands of the striking employees include enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years, regularisation of daily wagers in different government departments and removal of pay anomalies.
Meanwhile, a senior employees' union leader alleged that several office-bearers of the JCC had been arrested during mid-night raids on their houses across the valley.
"According to the information we have, union leaders have been arrested and are lodged at different police stations," Khurshid Alam, who heads a faction of employees joint action committee, he told PTI.
Alam claimed that he was also detained during the raid at his house.
This is a second round of strikes by employees in a fortnight after they halted work in government offices for two days earlier this month.
The agitating employees are likely to gherao the Civil Secretariat, the administrative headquarters of the government, on Friday and march to the Raj Bhavan on May 26.