Thiruvananthapuram: Sacked temporary bus conductors of the loss-incurring Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on Monday lay down on the road in front of the state secretariat and wrapped themselves with a white 'shroud', in a symbolic protest to highlight their plight.

Acting on a directive from the Kerala High Court, the State Road Transport Corporation had removed 3,872 empanelled (temporary) conductors from service on December 17.

"The government has the responsibility to protect us and the chief minister should immediately intervene and find a solution," the protesters, who have been agitating for the past 15 days here, said.

They, however, said they not given up hope on the CPI(M)-led LDF government.

The former KSRTC conductors lay on the busy Mahatma Gandhi Road in front of the secretariat covering themselves in a white cloth, symbolising a shroud.

"This is a symbolic protest, tomorrow we do not know what is in store for us and if there is no other go, many would be forced to end their lives," a former employee said.

The issue was raised in the state assembly by the Congress-led opposition UDF which staged a walkout over the mass termination, saying the government had violated all employment laws while removing the employees.

The high court had directed KSRTC to comply with its December 6 direction on a petition by Antony Stejo and others, who alleged these conductors were blocking recruitment of conductors in the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank list to the post of reserve conductors.