HYDERABAD: Scores of protesting TSRTC workers were taken into custody from bus despots across the state in connection with the state-wide bandh . Cinema halls, commercial establishments and shopping centres across districts remained shut on Saturday. While there were no major incidents of violence, minor scuffles did break out between protesters and police officials. Tensions simmered at several places where strike was observed by political parties, labour unions and students who were refused permission to stage sit-ins or protests by police. Defying police diktats, protesters staged demonstrations at certain places with many trying to physically prevent buses from leaving the depot.
On Friday, a day before the bandh, a stone was hurled at an RTC bus carrying passengers near Neradikonda in Adilabad. There were no injuries reported but the bus was damaged as a result. Elsewhere, stones were also pelted at RTC buses by protesters in Nizamabad’s Achanpalli and Mujaraknagar despite heavy police presence in the areas. Cops remained on alert in other places such as Warangal where protesters tries to barge into the depots. At Parakala depot, agitators had to be physically removed and put into detention vans.
The government did provide security to some buses plying from Jubilee Bus Stand in Secunderabad. In Kamareddy depot, protesters prevented buses from leaving while Wanaparthy saw protesters pelt stones at buses. In Siddipet, several RTC workers were arrested early in the morning as they were gathering to protest.
The situation was tense in Karimnagar too where workers were joined by political parties in their demands for showdown talks with the government. Protesters also burnt effigies of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. In Warangal, only a few buses of the 970 operated from the nine depots and were driven by temporary drivers and conductors aided by police protection.