Hunger strike, scores detained as TSRTC staff strike enters 43rd day

Police force deployed at the TSRTC Employees Union office in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Police force deployed at the TSRTC Employees Union office in Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Police detain leaders at their homes

Several hundred persons were taken into custody as the strike by the employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation entered its 43rd day on Saturday. Several TSRTC Joint Action Committee leaders were either not permitted to leave their homes or were detained.

The TSRTC JAC had called for a nirahara diksha — indefinite hunger strike — to be observed on Saturday. However, a day before the city police issued prohibitory orders around bus depots across the State and the Bus Bhavan at RTC Crossroads.

TSRTC JAC convener E. Ashwathama Reddy was detained at his residence as mild tension was palpable in the area. Supported by women workers of the TSRTC, it was here that he began his fast and said that it would continue till the time government enters into talks and solves workers’ issues.

‘Who profits?’

Speaking to the media, he rubbished allegations that JAC leaders are profiting off the workers and sought to know who owns petrol pumps and land parcels. He claimed that none of the TSRTC workers own even a pan shop to augment their income. He also criticised TSRTC in-charge Managing Director for the affidavit reportedly submitted in the High Court.

In another instance, tension prevailed in L B Nagar as TSRTC JAC co-convener K. Raji Reddy was detained along with several protesters. He was later taken to Pahadi Shareef police station. In a statement, Mr. Reddy vowed to intensify the strike and urged workers to have faith and not take any extreme step, including suicide. TSRTC JAC leader Lingamurthy too was taken into preventive custody.

Police deployment

Earlier in the day, Musheerabad police said that they thwarted the suicide attempt of a TSRTC driver. According to police, 41-year-old Kondra Saidulu arrived at the Musheerabad – 1 Bus Depot and doused himself with petrol. Police personnel posted at the bus depot rushed towards him, poured water on his body and whisked him away to Chikkadpally Police Station.

Police detained several protesters who had converged at the Farooqnagar Bus depot. Meanwhile, Cyberabad Police said that as many as 219 protesters were taken into custody from 10 bus depots.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 10:25:15 PM |

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