A woman software engineer working with Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai was crushed to death under the wheels of a rashly driven TSRTC bus on Tuesday afternoon at Banjara Hills Road 12 in Hyderabad.
Sohini Saxena, 24, was on her way to the local office when the two-wheeler which she was driving was hit by the bus driven by a new and inexperienced driver hired by the state government on contract basis as the TSRTC employees were on strike. She died on the spot.
Angry passersby and residents who witnessed the mishap stopped the bus even as the driver tried to drive away. They pelted stones at the bus and beat up the driver but police rescued him. However, the police could not take away the driver from the spot as people blocked them.
Although the TSRTC employees withdrew the strike on Monday, the state government has not allowed them, especially drivers and ticket collectors, to resume duties stating their strike was illegal and the Labour Commissioner would take a decision on whether they are still considered employees of TSRTC.
Today morning, hundreds of TSRTC employees were detained by cops all over Telangana for protesting outside their respective depots for not being allowed to resume duties. Hundreds of employees were also detained outside Jubilee and MGBS depots in Hyderabad.
In a statement issued Monday night, TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma said that the employees cannot decide to go on strike and then join duty as per their whims.
"Nowhere in any Public Sector Undertaking in the country, workers and employees abstaining from duties and joining their duties at their whims and fancies happens nor it can be accepted. The RTC employees and workers have abstained from duties on their own and were on an illegal strike. Neither the RTC management nor the state government asked them to go on strike. They went on an illegal and illogical strike during important festivals like Bathukamma, Dussera and Deepavali and have caused immense inconvenience to the people. The RTC workers and employees are on an illegal strike now," a statement by Sharma said.
"As per the directives given by the High Court, Labour Commissioner will take a suitable decision on the RTC workers strike. Based on the Labour Commissioner’s decision, the RTC management would act. Everything will be done in tune with the existing Laws and Acts. Till then, everyone should maintain restraint. Till the process as suggested by the High Court is completed, workers who are on illegal strike cannot be taken back on duties. It will not be possible under Acts and rules for the workers who went on strike on their own and to join duties again. We request employees not to go to the RTC depots and create law and order issues. We also request the workers who are on an illegal strike not to obstruct the temporary drivers and conductors from attending to their duties," the statement said.