Hyderabad: The state-wide bandh called by the agitating employees of TSRTC across Telangana received a total response from all the 33 districts of the state with almost all opposition parties standing in solidarity with the strike.
The agitation by the employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) entered its 15th day on Saturday whereby agitating employees pressing various demands, including merger of the corporation with the Telangana government.
The bandh follows a day after the Telangana High Court had directed the state transport corporation and employees' unions to hold talks and settle all disputes before October 28.
Bandh Observed In 33 Districts
The bandh was total and buses confined to depots in the erstwhile Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Medak districts.
Media reports suggest that in Nizamabad all cinema halls, educational institutions and private offices were closed. Not just that, autos also remained off roads.
In erstwhile Karimnagar, RTC JAC leaders set fire to effigy of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao protesting against tough stand against resolving the crisis. Meanwhile, CITU leaders had taken out a procession to show support to the TSRTC strike.
In Sangareddy, media reports suggesr that nine leaders of RTC were detained by the police in the wee hours. According to a leading daily, in Pragnapur depot, in Gajwel, the CM's constituency, 27 people were arrested for participating in the protests.
There was heavy police deployment in and near the bus depots at Adilabad, Utnoor, Nirmal, Bhainsa, Mancherial and Asifabad, according to media reports. Many opposition leaders were also arrested. Police had clamped Section 144 in all towns of the district.
In Parakal, bandh went down peaceful as all the traders shut down their businesses and other establishments were closed due to bandh. Buses were not taken out from any of the depots in the district as temporary drivers stayed away from duties. Some prominent agitators in the district were taken into custody on the early hours of the day by police.
In the arterial Hyderabad Road in Nalgonda town, opposition leaders from TDP, Jana Sena, Telangana Vidyavanthula Vedika and all their affiliate organisations had taken out bike rallies carrying red flags.
At least 500 members of JAC walked barefoot from Nalgonda clock tower cenre to the bus station raising slogans.
TSRTC Employees Demand
Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began the indefinite strike from October five across Telangana on a call given by the Joint Action Committee of RTC, demanding :
Corporation’s merger with the government and recruitment to various posts, recruitment to various posts, job security to drivers and conductors, implementation of Pay Scale Revision 2017 recommendations and removal of taxes on diesel.
Ruling out discussions with the agitating unions, the KCR-led TRS government had termed the stir as "illegal".
Since the strike began on October 5, two employees have ended their lives and three attempted suicide.
Also Read: Be Prepared For A Bandh