The police even questioned our landlord as to why he had rented out his apartment to a single woman.

The Bharati we knew was an independent bold woman Neighbours shocked by Bluru drivers death Veerath Bharathi/Facebook
news Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 16:05

Uber India’s first woman driver Bharathi Veerath was found hanging at her residence in Bengaluru on Monday evening and those close to her are still unable to make sense of her death.

Bharathi had made headlines two years ago when she started off as the first woman cab driver for Uber in Bengaluru.

However, what has jolted the neighbours even more than her death is the attitude of the police officers who came to record their statements. Most of the questions about Bharathi, says Gurukiran Kamat – her neighbor –were directed at her personal choices, like why she was living all by herself.

“The police even questioned our landlord as to why he had rented out his apartment to a single woman.  It is extremely disturbing that they even had the audacity to ask this to our landlord, since there is nothing illegal about this. Though not stated explicitly, aren’t such questions directed at her character?” he asks.

Gurukiran says that since Monday afternoon he repeatedly tried to contact Bharati over the phone. However, contrary to her usual habit of attending to calls immediately, Bharathi failed to respond to repeated calls.

Worried about why she was not returning his calls, Gurukiran went over to Bharathi’s apartment on the third floor of the building, only to find that her slippers weren’t kept outside.

“Generally she would leave her footwear outside her door if she’s at home. When I did not find it there, I assumed that she had gone out. But then I found her car parked outside the building,” he narrates.

His suspicions aroused, Gurukiran immediately informed the landlady, who decided to use the master key to get into the house along with a colleague of Bharathi’s. However, they found that the main door of the house wasn’t locked and entered.

Behind the partially closed door to the bedroom, they found Bharathi hanging from the ceiling.

Bharathi has been living in this apartment in Nagashetty Halli for over ten months. Gurukiran, who has known Bharathi for over ten years now, says that he remembers her as an independent, self-determined woman.

Five years ago, Bharathi used to work with Sangama, a Bengaluru NGO that works with sexual minorities. Gurukiran, former director of Sangama, says that Bharathi was strongly into minority issues and was passionate about her work.

“I cannot even begin to imagine why she would take her life. The Bharathi we knew was an independent, bold woman, who was not scared to even drive at odd hours,” he says.

Gurukiran says that he and the other neighbours have had cordial relationship with Bharathi, though her personal life was not a subject of discussion between her and them.

 

Read: The inspiring ride is over: Uber India’s first woman taxi driver found dead in Bengaluru

 

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