Hyderabad: As many as 100 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), laid siege to the RTC crossroads junction, on Wednesday in support of their strike which entered the 12th day on Wednesday.
As many as 10 employees sat down on the roads and had their heads tonsured in a bid to ensure that the state government notices their protest.
“They tonsured their heads as a sign of disappointment with the government. We have put forth a charter of 26 demands to the government, which includes the merger of the corporation with the state government,” said Mr Maddela Dasharath, a member of the TSRTC union.
It might be recalled that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had termed the strike as illegal and ruled out any talks with the employees. He also announced that over 48,000 employees had ‘dismissed themselves’ by not joining duty before the expiry of the deadline.
The protests were not just limited to RTC crossoads, they also erupted in a similar vein at Osmania University, when, on Wednesday, students carried out two dharnas to support the striking drivers.
While one procession saw a mock funeral of the Chief Minister, the other, a group of 20 students, stripped and went semi-nude in front of the Arts College.
Students who had organised the half-nude protest, were managed by the AISF, whose state president K. Srinivas said: “We are showing our full support to the striking workers. The government’s decision to remove them from the rolls is completely arbitrary.”
Similarly, a few students had taken out a funeral procession in the campus.
“We had taken out a funeral procession from Kaveri C Hostel to the Arts College. There were over 200 students who were a part of it. We have done this in support of the striking TSRTC employees,” said Mr D. Naresh, state president, Dalit Minorities Students’ Association.
He added that the government chose to replace the striking employees’ jobs with temporary drivers and conductors who weren’t well-versed with driving a bus. “If the government chose to give the jobs to other people, they should have given them training. Not employed people who has no training at all,” he said.
However, these protests were marred by the presence of the police from the Osmania University police station. According to officials of the station, the protests were thwarted from moving any further.
“We asked the students to move back to their rooms after they came to the Arts College. We have not pressed any charges or taken anyone into custody,” said an official from the station....