Third bus conductor suicide in Telangana amid transport strike

TSRTC, Telangana bus strike, bus conductor
Over 48,000 RTC employees are on strike, demanding among others, the merger of the RTC with the government, pay revision, recruitment to various posts | PTI File

A woman bus conductor employed with the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself, police said. Nearly 48,000 employees of various unions of the RTC have been on a strike since October 5 over various demands including the merger of the corporation with the government.

This is the second suicide by an agitating employee in the town and third in the state after the RTC staff commenced their stir, reported news agency PTI. Neeraja, a conductor working in the Sathupally depot, took the extreme step on Sunday (October 27) night, police Commissioner Tafseer Iqubal said.

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“We got the information that she committed suicide. The reasons for her doing so are yet to be established,” he added. However, the family members of Neeraja said that she was depressed over fear of losing her job in the wake of the strike.

On hearing the news of her death, a large number of RTC employees gathered at her residence and shouted slogans against the state government. They blocked vehicular traffic in Khammam, where tension prevailed for some time and also in Sathupally, demanding compensation to the kin of the deceased.

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The body was handed over to the family members after the post-mortem. “The situation is now peaceful,” Iqbal said.

Khammam Collector RV Karnan said that efforts were on to provide financial aid to the family through some government schemes. “There is a provision in the TSRTC rules which says that family member of the deceased will be given a job on compassionate grounds,” Karnan said.

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On October 12, Srinivas Reddy, a driver working in the Khammam depot, committed suicide by setting himself ablaze at his house in Khammam. Two days after, Surender Goud, a conductor, hanged himself from a ceiling fan at his house in the state capital on October 14.

Over 48,000 RTC employees are on strike, demanding among others, the merger of the RTC with the government, pay revision, recruitment to various posts. The RTC employees and workers have been carrying out protests across the state over their demands, with political parties and different organisations extending their support.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has rejected the merger demand of the striking employees.

(With inputs from agencies)