Hours after a Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus driver succumbed to his burn injuries, another employee allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his house on Sunday night. According to reports, some other employees also attempted suicide but was saved by the police and others. Protests were carried out in different parts of the city and other places, with employees raising slogans and holding the state government responsible for Reddy’s death.
Surender Goud, aged around 50, hanged himself from a ceiling fan at his house even as family members broke open the door of his room and shifted him to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead around 9.30 pm, an official attached to the Kulsumpura police station said.
Asked about the reason behind the suicide, police said Goud was apparently depressed over the 'fear of job loss and the non-payment of September salary' due to the ongoing Telangana State Road Transport Corporation strike.
Earlier, a 55-year-old TSRTC driver allegedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in his house. Srinivas Reddy, working in the Khammam depot, who is on a strike for the past one week, poured petrol on his person and set himself afire. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Reddy was part of the group of employees on a state-wide strike for the last nine days.
In a related development, another TSRTC driver, aged around 40, doused himself with petrol at Narsampet depot in Warangal district on Sunday, however, police immediately intervened and foiled his alleged self-immolation bid.
The neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh had recently merged the state’s transport department with the government and further increased the retirement age to sixty years.
The group of unions has submitted 26 demands including an increase in pay scale. Other demands include RTC being exempted from taxes, child care holidays for women employees, purchase of new buses and removal of hired buses, clearing dues to the corporation owed by the government, and allowing the Corporation to undertake parcel and courier services.
The last time the KCR-led government hiked the salaries of the TRC employees by 44 per cent was in 2015 when the workers demonstrated for their rights.
Taking a tough stand on the strike, the Chief Minister had made it clear that under no circumstances the RTC would be merged into the government.