Sacked TSRTC conductor, 31, kills herself, 4th staffer to commit suicide
Her husband B Rajasekhar said Neerja had been closely associated with the indefinite strike that started on October 5 had been worried about the future of their children, a daughter, 11, and son, 9.Updated: Oct 28, 2019, 22:00 IST
A 31-year-old conductor of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who was sacked along with the thousands of other employees for their indefinite strike, committed suicide in the state’s Khammam district on Monday morning, police said. K Neeraja, who was found hanging at her house in the town’s Kaviraja Nagar colony, is the fourth employee of the state road transport corporation to have committed suicide this month.
She was posted as a conductor in the Sattupalli RTC depot, in Khammam town.
Her husband B Rajasekhar said Neerja had been closely associated with the indefinite strike that started on October 5 had been worried about the future of their children, a daughter, 11, and son, 9.
“Two days ago, she went to her mother’s place at Pallegudem village along with the children, whereas I went to see my parents for Diwali festival.
“She called me last night and said she had come back to take part in the strike on Monday. This morning, when I tried to call her, she did not take the calls. I rushed back to Khammam only to find her hanging from the ceiling,” Rajasekhar said.
Khammam police inspector Tafseer Iqbal told HT that a probe had been initiated into the unnatural death. “The exact reason for her death is not immediately known. We shall be able to find out only after post mortem and other inquiries,” he said.
Neeraja’s death provoked anger among local employees of the state road transport corporation who stormed the RTC depots in Sattupalli and Khammam to stage a protest against the government. The police used mild force to disperse the agitators, a district police officer said.
The RTC unions under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee (JAC) have been agitating for a solution to their demands including the corporation’s merger with the state government. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who had ordered dismissal of employees who went on strike, has been firm on his stand of not withdrawing his order. His government also expressed its inability to pay salaries to the striking employees for the month of September due to paucity of funds.
Neeraja is the fourth staffer to commit suicide during over the last 24 days.
On Saturday, 53-year old driver of Narketpally depot of Nalgonda district committed suicide allegedly by consuming pesticide. On October 12, a 52-year old driver D Srinivasa Reddy of Khammam depot died by setting himself ablaze, while a conductor B Srinivasa Goud (46) of Ranigunz depot of Secunderabad committed suicide at his residence on the outskirts of Hyderabad on October 13.
Following the high court’s directions, the state government deputed a team of officials led by RTC in-charge managing director Sunil Sharma to hold talks with the RTC employees’ union leaders on Saturday, but the talks fizzled out within a couple of hours.
While the management insisted that the union leaders discuss only 21 of their 26 demands, the union leaders insisted that talks be held on all their demands and walked out.
On Monday, the RTC management told the high court that the talks had failed as the unions were firm on their demand for merger of the RTC with the government and other issues which will have financial implications. The court
The employee unions told the court that the government was not interested in talking about their genuine demands. The court will take up the case again on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the chief minister has told the corporation to hire another 2,300 buses to minimise inconvenience to the commuters. The chief minister had earlier favoured privatisation of public transport in the state.