Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday used force to scuttle a protest march by government employees here in support of their demands including release of the Sixth Pay Commission arrears.
The employees assembled on the main road near Exhibition Crossing late this afternoon and started marching towards nearby Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government.
However, the marchers were stopped by police at Jehangir Crossing and asked to disperse.
The employees insisted on going ahead with the protest, following which police used batons to disperse them, official sources said adding five protesters were injured while 20 others, including some of their leaders, were taken into preventive custody.
The protest call was given by an employees union in support of its demand for release of the Pay Commission arrears, enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 and regularisation of adhoc and daily wage workers.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir ASHA workers union also held a protest demonstration at Sheri Kashmir Park in the heart of the city.
Hundreds of ASHA workers from all parts of the Valley participated in the demonstration.
The workers raised a number of demands which include government employee status, enhancement and timely monthly salary, six hours of duty, supply of special kits, adequate protection in the field, issuance of identity cards and other incentives, the officials said.