Another RTC employee commits suicide in Hyderabad as Telangana bus strike enters 10th day

A 46-year-old conductor of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) committed suicide in Hyderabad on Sunday night, hours after a driver died of his burn injuries amid an indefinite strike by workers of the state-owned transporter.

The family of B Surender Goud, a conductor at the Ranigunj-II bus depot in Secunderabad area, said he returned home at around 8.30pm on Sunday after participating in the agitation.

“My father was extremely disturbed by the death of RTC driver D Srinivasa Reddy from Khammam depot… He was watching the news on television about the strike while having dinner. Later, he went into the bedroom and hanged himself,” Goud’s son Sankeerthan told reporters.

Also read: KCR dismisses 48,000 employees of Telangana Road Transport Corporation

Goud’s wife Jyothy, who has been supporting the family by working as a tailor, had gone out to a nearby shop, when he killed himself. When she came back and found the bedroom door locked from inside, she grew suspicious.

“Both of us broke open the door only to find him hanging from the ceiling fan. As his pulse was still beating, we immediately shifted him to a private hospital nearby, where he died despite efforts made by the doctors,” Sankeerthan said.

Goud is learnt to have taken a loan of Rs 10 lakh from a bank for the wedding of his daughter Supriya last year. He could not pay the equated monthly instalments (EMI) as the government did not credit his salary to his account for the month of September.

His family members told the police that Goud got a message from the bank about the default of EMI payment on Sunday morning.

Officials from the Langar Houz police station went to the hospital and shifted the body to Osmania General Hospital for an autopsy.

“We have booked a case of a suspicious death. An investigation is on,” Asifnagar’s assistant commissioner of police N Narasimha Reddy said.

The body of Srinivas Reddy, who succumbed to his burn injuries at DRDO Apollo Hospitals, was shifted to his native place in Khammam district in the evening after the post-mortem examination at the same hospital.

The police did not allow the striking RTC employees to take the body to Bus Bhavan at Musheerabad to enable others to pay homage to him. The police also forced Reddy’s family members to cremate his body late in the night in order to prevent any breakdown of law and order.

More than 49,000 employees and workers unions of TSRTC began an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC, demanding RTC’s merger with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others.

They are also demanding revision of their salaries pending since April 2017. They want fresh recruitment in the corporation to reduce the workload on the employees.

Opposition parties have extended their support to the striking workers and called for a series of agitations culminating in a complete shutdown in the state on October 19.

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