Hyderabad: A BJP delegation including Telangana BJP president Dr K Laxman and MLC Ramachandra Rao on Monday met the family of the TSRTC conductor Surendra Goud who allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself during the strike called by around 48,000 TRSTC employees against the state government.
The delegation extended their condolences to the family of the deceased, whose body is kept at the Osmania General Hospital for post-mortem.
Meanwhile, the TSRTC's Joint Action Committee (JAC) has called a statewide bandh on October 19 even as the strike entered its 10th day with protests in various parts of the state.
Speaking to media persons at the hospital premises, Laxman said, "The RTC employees are protesting from the last ten days and the government is not showing interest in resolving the issue."
"Two persons have committed suicide and many have tried to take away their own lives. It's unfortunate that even after achieving statehood for Telangana, people are committing suicides. We urge the government to talk to the RTC employees and resolve the issue at the earliest. We urge the employees not to commit suicide," he added.
Laxman said that BJP is in support of the protesting employees and appealed to all parties to support the bandh in the state called by the TSRTC.
On Sunday, Goud took the extreme step by allegedly hanging himself at his house in Banjarewadi in Hyderabad.
His family members took him to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors.
Goud's family members alleged that he was depressed over losing his job as the government had declared that the RTC employees who went on strike will not be taken back.
Two other RTC employees attempted to kill themselves while they were staging a protest as part of the ongoing strike but were rescued by neighbours and police.
In the last three days, two RTC employees including Goud have died after allegedly attempting suicide.
Srinivas Reddy from Khammam district had on Sunday succumbed to his injuries at a Hyderabad hospital after receiving 80 per cent burns.
He had immolated himself on Saturday during the ongoing strike.
Also, two other RTC employees have died due to heart attack, taking the total number of deaths to four since the strike began on October 5.
In Kothagudem, the TSRTC JAC continued their agitation and BJP leader Koneru Satyanarayana has announced his support to the strike.
In Khammam, all opposition parties gave a bandh call and they are staging a protest along with the RTC employees against the state administration.
All shops have been shut in the district and no untoward incident has taken place so far as the bandh is going on peacefully.
In Hyderabad, TSRTC Zonal Secretary Raghavulu alleged that the TSRTC employees were murdered by the state government and did not die because of suicide.
"Today is the 10th day of the ongoing strike. Yesterday, two of our employees have committed suicide. The government is not responding to our demands. All political parties, trade unions, student unions are supporting the strike. These are not suicides but murders committed by the government. The Chief Minister has demoralising our workers," he told ANI.
He also demanded a Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia from the state government and hoped that the issue would be resolved soon.
The RTC employees have been protesting in Telangana against a statement issued by the state government with regards to sacking over 40,000 employees.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has said that there is "no question" of having any talks with the agitating 48,000 RTC employees.
Various political parties including BJP, Congress, TDP and CPI have also come together in support of the RTC employees and are demanding the state government to take them back.