Tension ran high in Telangana’s Karimnagar town on Friday as a driver of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), who had died of a cardiac arrest on Wednesday, was cremated amid tight security.
Police had a tough time in controlling the protesting employees and leaders of opposition parties trying to take the body to the TSRTC depot. Using mild force, the police stopped the procession from heading towards the depot.
There was heated argument between Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar of the BJP and police officials. The MP, along with his followers, later staged a protest at the Police Commissioner’s office demanding against the police personnel who allegedly misbehaved with him.
The town witnessed tension since Thursday as the MP and leaders of striking TSRTC employees protested with the dead body of N. Babu, refusing to perform the last rites till the government holds talks with the striking employees and resolve the crisis.
More than 48,000 TSRTC employees are on strike since October 5 to press for their demands including the demand for merger of TSRTC with the government.
Babu died of cardiac arrest at the public meeting organized by Joint Action Committee (JAC) of striking employees in Hyderabad on October 30.
JAC had called for ‘chalo Karimnagar’ on Friday to protest the government’s adamant attitude on their demands resulting in the deaths of workers.
Three employees have committed suicide while more than six have died of cardiac arrest. JAC and opposition parties alleged that the government has pushed the striking employees into depression by sacking them and by not paying them salary for September.
Opposition parties had called for shutdown in Karimnagar district on Friday. JAC urged the employees to stage protests at all depots.
The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) called for closure of educational institutions in support of the demands of RTC employees.