HYDERABAD: Battlelines are drawn for Saturday, when the striking employees of TSRTC backed by all Opposition parties will lay siege to Tank Bund and attempt to create yet another historic stir on the lines of the 2011 Million March. However, police on Friday denied permission to the TSRTC employees unions to organise a ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ protest.
In a pre-emptive move, the police have detained several leaders of TSRTC JAC and Opposition parties. Police were deployed in large numbers on the Tank Bund and barricades set up to prevent protestors from resorting to vandalism.
It is estimated that thousands of protesters will take to streets and take control of the road from where Telangana struggle had reached historic heights. The protest is to coerce the government to come to talks on the 26 demands of RTC workers for better working condition and financial security.
Reports of preventive arrests began trickling in from 4 am on Friday, where several RTC union leaders were detained when they attempted to reach Hyderabad. In the districts, it was reported that the police resorted to arresting children of RTC leaders when the parents were not to be found. The police also headed to Osmania University and took several student leaders into preventive custody.
“If not us, our children will throng Tank Bund. If you arrest them as well, our wives will make Chalo Tank Bund a success,” RTC leader Raji Reddy said before being detained on Friday morning. Several key leaders like Thomas Reddy went into hiding and switched off their phones to remain untraced by the police .
“It is unfair that the police have begun preventive arrests and detention of people despite we stating that it would be a peaceful protest,” Chada Venkat Reddy, CPI State Secretary, said. They are also miffed with the fact that the KCR-led government who had been instrumental in making the Million March a success, is now trying to water down this protest.
KCR holds review meet
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday held a detailed review on the RTC strike. He reportedly enquired about the proceedings in the High Court and also the proposed march of the RTC employees to Tank Bund. The officials informed the chief minister about the Provident Fund regional commissioner’s notice to the corporation’s management.
Further, Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) released a notification on Friday for candidates who cleared the Junior Assistant Exam (P&F) held on October 7, 2018, calling them for second spell of certificate verification, to recurit them into the RTC.