Rude and obnoxious behaviour is becoming synonymous with Ola and Uber drivers as more and more incidents of intolerance is being reported every now and then.
According to a report by India Today, 22-year-old Arjita Banerjee, an engineer from Bengaluru, was harassed by the cab driver named Md, Azhardeen, after an argument over payment. She was riding back to her paying guest accommodation in an Ola share cab,
The driver allegedly told the victim: “Mai tereko kahin chod doonga. Tereko kaat daloonga” (I will leave you somewhere, chop you into pieces and throw you, recounted Arjita.
Moreover, Azhardeen threatened the victim’s father, who had apparently booked the cab for his daughter, by saying, “Tumhari beti ko kaat ke fenk doonga (I will chop your daughter into pieces and throw her away).
Arjita recounting the incident said the ordeal began when on Monday when her father, who is in Kolkata, booked an Ola share cab for her to her paying guest accommodation in Nagawara, which is about 20 km away from Koramangala, where she had gone to visit her sister over the weekend.
After the cab was booked, she called the driver and asked him to call on her number when he reaches the pick-up location. He allegedly responded by saying, ‘you can call me on my number anytime madam’. The suggestive response from the driver made Arjita uncomfortable, but since she was getting late for work, she decided not to cancel her booking with the particular cab driver.
Moreover, she said that she went ahead with the ride because she thought it was safe as there were other riders in the cab and it was morning time.
Arijita said that after she sat in the car, the cab driver drove at a speed of 10 km/hr. She and the other riders resented and asked him to speed up. The cab driver, Mohammed Azhardeen, irked by this, started driving the cab rashly above speed limit. Soon, after the co-passengers got dropped off, the driver started making small talks with Arijita. This made her further uncomfortable.
However, once she reached her destination the driver asked her to pay Rs 200 cab fare. On being reminded that her father had already paid the driver Rs 130 through Ola money and the rest of the fare was paid at the time of booking, Md. Azhardeen got infuriated and started hurling abuses at the victim.
He refused to release the central locking system of his car, because of which Arijita was stuck in the cab for a while. He snatched her phone and told her father, who was on a call with her at that moment, that he will go and drop her (Arijita) somewhere, implying he will leave her stranded at some other place, recollected Arijita.
“I was really scared. He started telling my father, “Tumhari beti ko kaat ke fenk doonga (I will chop your daughter into pieces and throw her away), just tell her to pay me Rs 130.”
Arijita alleged that when she asked for her phone back, he refused to return it. She said that she sought help from people nearby, but no one came forward to help her. Finally, she paid him Rs 500 to get her phone back.
“Before leaving, I told him that I will ensure he doesn’t drive again. He then threatened me saying, I know where you live. I won’t leave you. Till I went in, he kept staring at my PG. I am now shifting from here”, said the victim.
Arijita filed an FIR at Halli Police Station in Banaswadi later in that evening. The accused was arrested and presented before the magistrate.
Meanwhile, Arijita’s father Subhendu Banerjee said that he called Ola’s security department to report the incident. Ola initially responded by saying that they would send the driver back to training and won’t let him drive Ola cabs till he passes the training. Few days later, an Ola representative called Subhendu Banerjee to inform that the driver has been suspended and the company is cooperating with the police Bengaluru police has confirmed that the drive is in jail at present and his vehicle is also has been seized.
However, this is not the first time incidents like these have been reported against online transportation network companies like Uber and Ola.
Recently, we had reported how a lady with the Twitter handle @sona2905 was subjected to rude and offensive behaviour of an Uber driver, Usman, who got aggressive on seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture on her phone cover. He started off with refusing to turn on the air conditioner in the Uber and even told her to ‘ask Modi to send her a cab’.
In yet another shocking incident from Mumbai, an Uber driver Aftab allegedly got angry when he saw the Shivaji Mandir, a theatre in Mumbai and started abusing Chhatrapati Shivaji, the warrior king who once fought the Mughals. Twitter user Samiir said that when he was passing by the Shivaji Mandir near Plaza Cinema in Mumbai, the uber driver Aftab started abusing Shivaji Maharaj and said, “Teri maa ka bh*s**”.
With more and more incidents of such intolerance coming into the forefront, the safety and well being of our near and dear ones, using Ola and Uber as a frequent mode of communication, is becoming an honest cause of concern.