Telangana bus strike: driver who attempted self-immolation dies

A Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) driver attached to the Khammam bus depot, D. Srinivasa Reddy, who attempted self-immolation at his house on Saturday evening succumbed to severe burns.

The doctors of the Apollo DRDO Hospital at Kanchanbagh here, where Srinivasa Reddy was shifted on Saturday night, said that he had suffered over 90% burns and stopped responding to treatment.

Tension gripped the hospital area as the leaders of political parties and RTC employees who are on strike started arriving as the news of his death spread. The RTC employees trying to visit the hospital were not allowed inside.

Earlier, convener of TSRTC JAC E. Ashwathama Reddy, Telangana Jana Samithi president M. Kodandaram, Congress leaders A. Revanth Reddy and V. Hanumantha Rao visited the hospital to enquire about the condition of Srinivasa Reddy.

Mr. Ashwathama Reddy criticised the government’s attitude of “provoking” the striking employees by issuing repeated statements that talks would not be held with them.

“Why are Ministers T. Harish Rao, who was the first honorary president of the TMU [Telangana Mazdoor Union] after the formation of Telangana, Eatala Rajender, Singireddy Niranjan Reddy or G. Jagadish Reddy, who were all part of the Telangana movement and are aware of the RTC employees’ role in the movement, keeping quiet now,” Mr. Ashwathama Reddy asked.

It is alleged that Srinivas Reddy went into depression after Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao announced the dismissal of TSRTC employees who went on an indefinite strike from October 5. The agitating staff have come out with various demands, including the merger of the RTC with the government.

(Hyderabad-based suicide intervention centre, Roshni: +914066202000)


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