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Telangana RTC driver who attempted self-immolation dies


Hyderabad, Oct 13 (IANS) A Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) driver, who attempted self-immolation, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital here on Sunday, triggering protests by striking employees and opposition parties.

Srinivas Reddy, who set himself on fire in Khammam town on Saturday and sustained critical injuries, died at the Apollo DRDO Hospital in Hyderabad, where he was admitted.

The driver had resorted to the extreme step during a protest by TSRTC employees, whose indefinite strike entered the ninth day on Sunday.

Employee unions alleged that Reddy was depressed over losing his job as Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that over 48,000 employees dismissed themselves by not joining duty before deadline set by the state government. He has ruled out taking back these employees into TSRTC.

The driver’s death triggered tension near hospital in Kanchanbagh area as leaders of TSRTC employee unions and opposition parties reached there and staged a protest against the government, blaming it for the employee’s death.

The protestors raised slogan against the government. The police had a tough time in controlling the crowd at the hospital.

Tension prevailed in Khammam district as incidents of stone pelting on the TSRTC buses were reported since Saturday evening.

Unknown protestors stopped buses being operated by temporary drivers, forced the passengers to get down and then attacked the vehicles. No one was injured in these incidents.

As TSRTC is operating buses with temporary staff, three incidents of attacks on drivers occurred in Khammam.

A Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC employees unions on Saturday decided to further intensify the strike. It called for a state-wide shutdown on October 19.

The Chief Minister has rejected all the demands of the striking employees including the main demand for merger of TSRTC with the government. He also ruled out talks with them.