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Over 5,000 Striking TSRTC Workers in Preventive Custody; 7 Police Personnel Injured

They sought to organise 'Chalo Tank Bund' protest as their indefinite strike entered the 36th day on Saturday.


Updated:November 9, 2019, 9:07 PM IST
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Over 5,000 Striking TSRTC Workers in Preventive Custody; 7 Police Personnel Injured
Police personnel baton charge TSRTC employees during a protest, in Hyderabad. (PTI)

Hyderabad: The 'Chalo Tank Bund' protest by striking TSRTC employees' unions and opposition parties took a violent turn on Saturday with agitators throwing stones at police, injuring seven personnel, leading to a lathicharge and lobbing of teagas shells to disperse them.

Police said seven personnel, including an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police and two Assistant Commissioners of Police were among those injured.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said the agitators tried to proceed towards Tank Bund despite denial of permission for the rally and threw stones at police when they were prevented from going further.

Police then lathicharged them and lobbed teargas shells, following which they dispersed. Kumar said cases had been registered against those who pelted stones and also their leaders.

Union leaders claimed that several striking employees were injured in the police action.

Police had on Friday denied permission to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation employees unions, who were supported by some frontal organisations of Maoists and their friendly organisations and opposition political parties, to organise the 'Chalo Tank Bund' protest.

Earlier, several leaders of the striking employees unions and opposition parties, including those from the Left and BJP, were among over 5,000 people taken into preventive custody across the state ahead of the march.

Elsewhere in the state, protesters from different organisations, who have been extending support to the TSRTC employees' unions, attempted to break barricades, squatted on roads and raised slogans against the Telangana government and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Nearly 48,000 employees had begun an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), demanding merger of RTC with the government, pay revision, recruitment to various posts, among others.

The Chief Minister had earlier said that under no circumstances would the RTC be merged with the government and that the employees' stir was illegal as they caused immense inconvenience to the public.

The detentions and the police action drew strong reactions from Congress, BJP and other parties, which alleged that the TRS government indulged in 'oppressive measures' against opposition leaders and workers during the march.

Congress Legislature Party leader M Bhatti Vikramarka alleged that the government had suppressed freedom of expression.

Vikramarka, who held a meeting with senior party leaders over the police action during the 'Chalo Tank Bund protest, claimed that Congress leaders were being put under house arrest whenever they take up any agitational programme.

The government is acting in a way to suppress Congress workers, he alleged in a statement. Vikramarka said the party leaders would meet again on Sunday to decide the future course of action.

BJP MP from Karimnagar Bandi Sanjay Kumar also alleged that the TRS government was resorting to oppressive measures against RTC employees agitating for their rights.

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