Update: Srinivas Reddy succumbed to his injuries on Sunday morning.
A TSRTC employee identified as Srinivas Reddy immolated himself at Khammam on Saturday. A TSRTC official told TNM that the driver from Khamma depot has been with the RTC for over 20 years and was at his residence when he set himself on fire. He was rushed to the nearest government hospital and is said to be critical as he has sustained 90% burns.
Srinivas was part of the statewide agitation of RTC employees demanding that the state government should take over the ailing Corporation. The strike which began on October 5 is in its eighth day on Saturday and neither the state government nor the RTC unions backing down from their stand. The unions have called for a statewide strike on October 19.
In videos that have since emerged on social media, Srinivas could be heard saying, "All the labourers who are working since 40 years should do well/get welfare, tell me where are my sister and mother," says Srinivas, who was taken to the Khammam government hospital, he is said to have suffered more than 90% burns.
One RTC driver And union leader (Telangana Majdur union ) Srinivas Reddy set himself on fire in Khammam dist Of Telangana against the Govt attitude towards strikeâ€” Lokesh Journalist (@Lokeshpaila) October 12, 2019
He was 90 percent burnt @asadowaisi @KTRTRS @dhanyarajendran pic.twitter.com/JnvKCqC65n
SVG Krishnamurthy, Regional manager Khammam told TNM that the RTC driver is being transferred to a hospital in Hyderabad for treatment, "Our depot manager and others are with him and taking him to Hyderabad."
Close to 50,000 of the RTC who are on strike have not yet received their salaries for the month of September. The Telangana State government insists that these employees have been terminated from service, though not officially.