Hyderabad: The ‘Bus Roko’ call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the workers unions of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) on Sat-urday caused mild tensions in some parts of Hyderabad, besides several parts across the state when police tried to take the union leaders into preventive custody.
In view of the Bus Roko call, police started arre-sts of RTC workers in wee hours of Saturday. When Hyderabad police reached the residence of Aswathama Reddy, convener, RTC JAC, in Musheerabad, at 3 am to take him into custody, he refused to come out by locking the door from inside.
He sat in the house on an indefinite hunger strike, along with some fellow RTC workers.
The police responded by placing him under house arrest, and cordoned his house to prevent other RTC workers from entering the residence.
Similarly, police tried to take Raji Reddy, co-convener, RTC JAC, from his house at Hasthinapuram, when a mild scuffle took place between RTC workers and the police. Two woman RTC workers sustained minor injuries in the scuffle.
The police finally took Raji Reddy and others into custody and shifted them to Pahadishareef police station. As many as 90 striking RTC workers were taken into custody at the Falaknuma bus depot, when they squatted before the depot, stopping buses from leaving the place.
“We imposed Section 144 around the bus depots in the city. The people we have taken into custody were in violation of the rules,” said K. Srinivasa Rao, inspector, Falaknuma police. V. Tirupathi, president, Telangana Majdoor Union, said that the police had taken over 5,000 RTC workers across the state into custody as a preventive measure.
Aswathama Reddy, after launching a hunger strike, said, “This is nothing but police excess. The police are keeping themselves busy by picking up and taking members of JAC to unidentified locations.
Notwithstanding the police force, we will continue with our struggle, democratically.”
Mr Reddy further said, “Ministers should pressurise the Chief Minister to initiate dialogue. If Chief Minister Mr Rao claims to be a democratic leader, if he loves people and if he cares for lives of labourers, he should make an effort to initiate a dialogue.”
The RTC strike entered into its 43rd day on Saturday. JAC leaders announced that they would further intensify their strike if the government did not initiate talks to resolve their demands.