Hyderabad: As the RTC employees tighten their protest in Telangana, many proclaim support to their movement. In solidarity with the employees’ strike, around 500 students from Osmania University protested by cooking food on the roads (Vanta Vaarpu) in front of Osmania Arts College. Student leaders from various organisations had participated in the protest since morning by cooking rice and dal in the open and serving it to others.
Kongari Shanker, working president of Madiga Students’ Federation, said, “The protest has been going on since today morning. Osmania University has always been on the forefront in supporting important social movements in society, irrespective of who is in power. We will continue to protest as long until the government fulfils the various demands made by the RTC employees, such as merging TSRTC with the government, pay-scale revision, etc.”
Student leaders also stated that they would make the RTC employees’ strike on October 19 into a success. Focusing on the vital role played by Osmania students in the formation of Telangana, several student leaders opined that the government cannot ignore this issue any further now. “Even though the strike notice was issued months in advance, no alternative arrangements have been made. The government is troubling people with their indecision. Students have asked where Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar was during the Telangana movement. He is enjoying his position now, but he is not working for the people now. Further, we will establish a Joint Action Committee alongside 25 student organisations and strengthen the protest,” said a student leader.
An anti-government, anti-KCR sentiment is rampant among the protesting students. “Telangana movement was sparked by the students of Osmania University. KCR captured the movement and got the power. Our protest is against his monopoly,” said Palwai Nagesh, president of Madiga Navanirmana Samiti (MNS). “The students’ holidays have been extended as part of CM KCR’s conspiracy in the RTC strike. His actions are not democratic,” said Srihari, Secretary ABVP.
The RTC protest, which has been continuing for the ninth consecutive day, has sparked similar movements all over the state. An RTC employee from Khammam who had immolated himself as part of the strike succumbed to his injuries today.