The police on Thursday arrested 19 striking government employees from public offices here for illegally restraining their colleagues from reporting for work.

A magistrate court here remanded at least five of them, including two women, to judicial custody. They included striking employees arrested from District Collectorate and offices of Director of Health Services and Directorate of Medical Education.

The third day of the strike against the government proposal to implement the contributory pension scheme was marked by incidents of violence. At Kattakada, several persons, including policemen and strike supporters, were injured when the CPI(M) workers protesting against the arrest of a left-wing service organisation leader, clashed with law enforcers.

Tension prevailed in the locality when Congress men simultaneous held a pro-government demonstration on the road. The police were caught in the middle trying to separate the groups. The CPI(M) has called for a strike in the locality to protest “State brutality”.

In front of the Secretariat, the SFI activists threw stones at a tanker-mounted water cannon and destroyed the publicity boards carrying the image of Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

In rural police district, at least 60 employees were arrested. Some strike supporters vandalised Agriculture Department’s office at Neyyar. The police opened the gates of a government school locked by strike supporters in Neyyatinkara taluk. Pro-government employees and strike supporters confronted each other in some government offices.