Third RTC worker commits suicide as strike enters 22nd day
A 53-year-old driver of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) allegedly committed suicide in Telangana’s Nalgonda on Saturday, the third worker to take his life amid an indefinite strike by the employees of the state-owned transporter.
Police said the body of Venkateshwarlu, who worked at the Narketpally depot, was found by the side of a road on Saturday morning. Officials said Venkateshwarlu consumed pesticide.
However, police have registered the case as that of suspicious death.
Before Venkateshwarlu, two other workers have killed themselves during this month. A 46-year-old conductor committed suicide in Hyderabad on October 13 and another succumbed to burn injuries after he set himself ablaze in Khammam district.
More than 49,000 employees and workers unions of TSRTC began an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana, demanding RTC’s merger with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others.
They are also demanding revision of their salaries pending since April 2017. They want fresh recruitment in the corporation to reduce the workload on the employees.
Leaders of the Joint Action Committee of the RTC employees’ unions said on Saturday they will continue their strike after talks with the government to end their 22-day long strike failed.
JAC leaders said after a meeting with RTC officials that they were not interested in resolving the issue and were forcing them to withdraw their strike.
They said officials were willing to talk about only 21 out of their 26 demands stating that the high court had asked them to consider only those demands.
RTC in-charge managing director Sunil Sharma, who headed the government panel for talks, accused JAC leaders of being “stubborn”.
On Thursday, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao even announced his plan to privatise the public transport soon.