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Police fire tear gas at govt employees protesting for pay raise

ISLAMABAD: Police on Wednesday fired tear gas at government employees protesting for pay raise at Islamabad’s D-Chowk, reported ARY News.

Hundreds of the Pakistan Secretariat employees gathered at D-Chowk to protest for higher salaries.

Swinging into action, the police fired tear gas at the protesters in a bid to disperse them. As a result, the protesters got furious and started pelting the policemen, many in anti-riot gear, with stones, turning the area into a virtual battlefield.

The police subsequently arrested Employees Grand Alliance chief organiser Rehman Bajwa and 26 other protesters.

The law enforcers have blocked all the routes leading to the Red Zone to keep the protesting government employees from converging there. The employees have been protesting for an increase in salaries, pensions and other allowances.

Speaking to ARY News, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said the government and the protesters had reached an agreement on the pay raise demand. The government agreed to increase salaries of grade-16 officers and below but now they are asking pay raise for grade-22 officers, he added.

He said talks with the protesters are underway and warned that those taking law into their hands will be taken to task.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, had endorsed a decision to increase salaries of the federal employees. It directed the provinces to decide for themselves about the salaries of their employees.

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