Government employees continue strike despite ESMA in J-K

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Srinagar, Apr 8 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees are continuing their strike despite the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) being invoked by the state government.

The strike has completely paralysed the normal functioning in all government offices, educational institutions, government hospitals and the Civil Secretariat.

The patients and their escorting attendants had to face a tough time, as there was no doctor or nurse to look after them at the government hospitals.

"All the wards are totally empty, there is nobody, as the health facilities are lacking because of this strike called by the employees; the employees were demanding their different remunerations. But as I feel, one should feel that health sector is very important and should be exempted. Today, I am an individual who has suffered after coming a long way to this place and I could not find any doctor," said G M Mir, kin of a patient.

The State Government imposed the ESMA after the government employees continued to observe the strike for demanding pay and perquisites as per the Central Government's sixth Pay Commission.

The employees held protests at different place across the state against the ESMA, which will deny employees their salaries if they do not attend to their respective offices and work.

The employees contended that they were told that their salaries would be enhanced as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission and would be paid to them after the assembly elections in November-December 2008.

The hiked salaries were given to the employees from August 1, 2009, but the arrears due to them from January 1, 2006, to July 31, 2009, have not been paid. (ANI)

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