A depot manager en route to work was allegedly attacked by some people in Nirmal district, as the TSRTC employees continued their month-long indefinite stir nothwithstanding the midnight deadline on Tuesday set by the Telangana government to the protesters to rejoin duty.
Janardhan, the depot manager at Bhainsa, was attacked while proceeding to work, police said, adding he was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries.
Talking tough, the government had on Monday decided not to allow any of the striking employees to work after the expiry of the November 5 deadline.
They warned that if the employees continued their stir, it would go ahead with the plan to permit private bus operators to run services in 5,000 of the total of 10,400 routes, leading to a situation where the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) virtually ceased to exist.
Despite the government's ultimatum, the stirby Telangana State Road Transport Corporation employees' unionsover various demands, including merger of RTC with the government, continued on Tuesday, the last day for submission of letters by the workers to re-join duty.
The strike and the protest programmes of the employees are continuing, Ashwathama Reddy, leader of the employees unions, told PTI.
He claimed that only a small number of employees have joined duty as per the deadline set by the state government.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions held a meeting with political parties, trade unions and people's organisations on the strike on Tuesday.
Reddy told reporters that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao should initiate talks with the employees to resolve the issue, instead of making comments about allotting more routes to private operators.
The Centre also holds a share in the Corporation and the nature of the Corporation cannot be changed without the the Centre's involvement, he said.
Police said the safety and security of those willing to rejoin duty would be taken care of.
All depots have been provided with sufficient security, police said and warned of stern action against anyone trying to take the law into their own hands
The unions have been urging the government to hold talks with them to end the strike, which entered the 32nd day on Tuesday with workers holding protests at various places.
TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma had said in a statement that those employees wishing to join duty can submit joining letters to various offices, including that of the District Collector, Superintendent of Police, Revenue Divisional Officer and Depot Managers.
Nearly 48,000 employees had commenced an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call by the Joint Action Council of TSRTC employees' unions, to press their charter of demands, resulting in buses staying off roads.
Rao had earlier said that under no circumstances would the RTC be merged with the government and termed the stir as illegal as they caused immense inconvenience to public.
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