Another Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) driver allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday in Mahabubabad district as the indefinite stir by the employees' unions entered its 40th day.
The 45-year-old allegedly consumed poisonous substance at his house in the early hours and was rushed to a hospital by his family where he died, police said.
Four TSRTC employees have ended their lives and some others attempted suicide in different parts of Telangana since the strike began on October 5.
A senior police official said the driver resorted to the extreme step since he was apparently "upset" about whether the ongoing RTC issue would be resolved.
A purported suicide note in the name of the driver allegedly mentioned that the state government was not responding properly to the stir, the official said and added that its authenticity is yet to be verified.
Scores of TSRTC workers and employees along with members of some political parties took his body in a procession from the hospital towards the RTC depot raising slogans against the government.
The protesters also forcibly removed the barricades put up by the police on the main road, and later held a protest with the body in front of the depot.
Following an intervention by the police and assurances by the district officials saying that his family's demands for ex-gratia will be looked into, among others, the protest was withdrawn.
Nearly 48,000 employees had boycotted work and began an indefinite stir across Telangana on a call by the Joint Action Committee of TSRTC employees' unions, demanding merger of RTC with the government, pay revision, recruitment to various posts, among others, resulted in the state-run buses staying off the roads causing inconvenience to commuters.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had earlier said under no circumstances would the RTC be merged with the government and said the employees' stir was illegal as they caused immense inconvenience to the public.