Employee unions of the state-owned transport corporations participating in the strike on Thursday lashed out at the government for what they termed ‘oppression’ with an intention to browbeat them into withdrawing the strike.
“This is nothing short of an oppression by the government,” said H V Ananthasubbarao, spokesperson for the joint committee of five employees’ unions. He added that these measures would only worsen the situation.
Subbarao also said that more than 50 striking workers have been arrested so far across the state in addition to the 120 who were arrested on Wednesday.
“Our workers in Nelamangala have even been dragged out of their homes and taken into custody. Why is the Police taking such measures when there is absolutely no law and order problem?” questioned Subbarao.
He demanded that the workers should be released unconditionally. He also blamed Deputy CM and Transport Minister R Ashok for creating confusion by saying that there are no recognised unions in KSRTC.
“Till 1 am, he was speaking to trade union leaders, but we do not know who he is referring to,” added Subbarao.
T Suneel Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and order) said that 38 employees of both KSRTC and BMTC were taken under preventive custody around 11 am when the employees were protesting.
“Barring a few stray incidents, the situation in the city was peaceful with the deployment of police personnel at all the bus stands across the city. All the senior police officials were in constant touch with the transport department officials,” said Suneel Kumar.
Meanwhile, City Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji visited the Kempegowda Bus Station and requested BMTC staff to report for duty. He also assured protection to buses. At the autorickshaw stand opposite the city railway station, he warned auto drivers that they are not allowed to charge over and above the meter fares.