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A TSRTC employee during a protest outside Apollo DRDO Hospital where a driver succumbed to his injury, in Hyderabad on Sunday (Photo: ANI)
A TSRTC employee during a protest outside Apollo DRDO Hospital where a driver succumbed to his injury, in Hyderabad on Sunday (Photo: ANI)

TSRTC bus driver who immolated himself succumbs to burn injuries

  • The deceased, Srinivas Reddy, reportedly killed himself due to uncertainty around his job
  • A BJP leader said the CM's 'brazen decision' to fire 48,000 TSRTC employees will massively backfire on him

Hyderabad: A bus driver of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who attempted suicide on 12 October at Khammam died on Sunday. The deceased, Srinivas Reddy, reportedly tried to burn himself to death, after which he was admitted to the Apollo hospital’s DRDO branch in Hyderabad for treatment, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

While it is unclear whether he left a note or not, opposition leaders and TSRTC union leaders, who have been leading the ongoing indefinite bus strike alleged that Reddy took the extreme step as he was depressed over his job’s uncertainty with the TSRTC. After the strike began on 5 October, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao categorically said that all the 48,000-plus employees who have been abstaining from work will be considered as “self-dismissed".

In fact, Rao on 12 October in a statement also termed the ongoing strike as “illegal and unauthorized" and even said that he would not hold any talks with the TSRTC unions, which are being led by the joint action committee they have formed. On Sunday, when the strike entered its ninth day, Srinivas Reddy’s body was sent back to his native place in Khammam district.

So far, there is no headway between the state government and the TSRTC unions. In fact the state has even begun hiring temporary drivers to run a section of the TSRCT’s buses. Among its demands, the protesting TSRTC unions are asking for salary hikes (due since 2017 according to the JAC) and merger of the TSRTC with the state government.

Public transport continued to take a hit across Telangana due to the ongoing strike. The Hyderabad metro rail has also been witnessing a surge in passengers, and the state government has also extended the Dushera holidays till 19 October, a week more than its scheduled dates. After Reddy’s death on Sunday, opposition leaders lashed out at Rao and blamed him for the deceased’s extreme action.

“It's only after KCR's (as Rao is known) brazen decision to dismiss all 48,000 employees and after his provocative statements, Srinivas Reddy has taken the hasty decision to end his life. Going forward, the chief minister and his government will have to face the wrath of not just RTC employees, but entire people of Telangana state," said Krishna Saagar Rao, BJP’s chief spokesperson, Telangana.

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