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Telangana bus strike: Two TSRTC employees die of heart attack, four deaths since 5 October

A passenger walks with his luggage at a bus terminal after transportation was disrupted following a shutdown strike by TSRTC and opposition political parties in Hyderabad. (Photo: AP)Premium
A passenger walks with his luggage at a bus terminal after transportation was disrupted following a shutdown strike by TSRTC and opposition political parties in Hyderabad. (Photo: AP)

  • The unions will also conduct a meeting on Sunday afternoon to decide their future course of action
  • The deaths come two days after the Telangana High Court asked TSRTC-JAC leaders and state government to hold talks

Hyderabad: Two more deaths of employees belonging to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) were reported on Sunday from Khammam and Hyderabad. Both the deceased persons passed away due to heart attacks, taking to the toll to 4 since 13 October. Prior to this, two other employees of the TSRTC had died, with one of them succumbing to his injuries after a self-immolation bud, while the other hung himself to death.

In the first incident reported on Sunday, a driver named Sheikh Khaja Miyan belonging to the Sathupally bus depot (Khammam district) died of a heart attack on Sunday morning. Tafseer Iqbal, Khammam police commissioner, said that Khaja Miyan had died of a heart attack at Jaggayyapet in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. The other deceased was identified as G. Mallayya, a native of Nalgonda district, who was brought to the Osmania General hospital, where he died.

While the details of both the deaths are yet to be fully ascertained, the earlier incidents have been attributed to the ongoing indefinite bus strike being led by the TSRTC unions, which began on 5 October. Union leaders, which have formed a JAC, said that the earlier deaths took place as the two employees were worried about their future and security, especially after Telangana chief minister had said that employees who have abstained from work will be considered as “self-dismissed".

The deaths comes two days after the Telangana High Court on 18 October asked the TSRTC-JAC leaders and the state government to hold talks and discuss the issue. However, so far no talks have been held. Union leaders said that nobody from the TSRTC management has called them for talks till now. The unions will also conduct a meeting on Sunday afternoon to decide their future course of action.

Among the demands of the TSRTC unions are salary hikes (due since 2017 according to the JAC) and merger of the TSRTC with the state government (which KCR categorically said is not feasible). After the strike began on 5 October, KCR had said that all the 48,000-plus employees who participated in the strike will be considered as “self-dismissed" and in a statement later called the strike “illegal and authorized".

So far, since the strike began, three employees have died. Srinivas Reddy, a TSRTC bus driver from Khammam district was the first one. He succumbed to his injuries after he set himself ablaze in Khammam, and passed away in a hospital in Hyderabad while undergoing treatment on 13 October. A day later, Surender Goud, a conductor, hung himself to death in Hyderabad. Both of them were reportedly worried about their future (job loss), owing to the ongoing situation.

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