Massive protests in Hyderabad, Telangana against KCR government by employees
Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday had to deal with a massive bandh and protest by employees with protesters burning effigies, taking out marches and sloganeering
Protest marches, road blockades and sit-ins on Saturday marked the 15th day of the strike by Telangana State Road Transport Corporation and the state-wide bandh called by the striking employees evoked overwhelming support.
Both the High Court and the state’s Governor had intervened to end the deadlock. The High Court in fact had directed the state Government and striking employees to sit down this morning at 10.30 am for talks, observing that both the parties were causing severe hardship to the people. But the meeting did not take place.
Hyderabad and the other 32 districts witnessed protests with reports of sporadic violence coming in from some places. The police used the cane on protesters at some protest venues while protesters assaulted drivers of private buses engaged by the Government. The frequency of Hyderabad Metro Rail service was increased and trains made available at three minute gaps for commuters.
But the protest evoked widespread support with not just the 48,000 employees of the TSRTC, who the state government holds have lost their jobs, but also NGOs, teachers, lawyers and employees’ unions of various government departments joined the protest in an unprecedented show of defiance against the KCR Government and its stubborn attitude towards the striking employees.
The bandh was also backed by all opposition parties in the state. Many political leaders including state BJP chief K Lakshman were arrested and later released as police personnel remained busy throughout the day arresting protestors from across the state.
In Hyderabad, when CPI(M) leaders and workers were assembling at the RTC Cross Road, BJP leaders were being arrested from the Alwin Circle Bus Stand.
Congress in the meanwhile hinted at a split in the state cabinet. Congress MP Revanth Reddy claimed that “even some ministers were supporting the strike”.