Kashmir highway blocked by SRTC employees for several hours

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Srinagar, Feb 27 (UNI) Traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was today disrupted for several hours after hundreds of employees of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) blocked the road at Pampore, demanding early release of five month's salaries.

Hundreds of employees from different parts of the valley, took the police and authorities by surprise when they went to Pampore, about 12 km from here on the highway, in vehicles.

After de-boarding the vehicles, the employees staged a dharna in the middle of the road and did not allow any vehicle to pass. Even the vehicles of security forces were stranded on the highway.

Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying employees of different government departments, were stranded on the highway.

However, traffic was allowed after police intervention after several hours.

The SRTC employees and their family members, including children, are protesting for the past one week against the government's failure to release their salaries.

The employees, raising slogans against SRTC management, refused to allow traffic on the highway, saying that despite assurance by the advisor to Chief Minister to them that the matter would be taken up with the authorities and concerned their wages released, nothing had been done.

The employees, who struck work, alleged that due to non payment of their salaries they were facing starvation as they had nothing to eat.

General Secretary of the SRTC employees coordination committee said they had presented a 13-point charter of demands to the government, which included release of wages, payment of cost of living from 2006, appointment of children of deceased employees under SRO-43 and appointment of a commission to probe into alleged scandals in the corporation.


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