This could happen to anyone.

Bengaluru Intrusive Ola driver offers woman customer cigarette asks her personal questions Image for representation
news Harassment Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 15:16

Adding to the numerous complaints against taxi drivers, a Bengaluru woman recounted her terrifying experience with an Ola taxi driver through a Facebook post on Tuesday.

In the post on Wednesday, Suvarna*, who is a lawyer based in Bengaluru, wrote that the driver changed the route, asked her personal questions and even forced her to smoke a cigarette that he stopped to buy for her.

Suvarna told The News Minute that she did not file a formal complaint with the police immediately because she was afraid as the cab driver knew her address. However, following her Facebook post on Wednesday, Bengaluru police have got in touch with her and took her statement. 

Suvarna was travelling from Vittal Mallya road to Hebbal on Tuesday night.

She alleged that after they reached the Hebbal flyover, the cab driver asked her personal questions like whether she drinks and about her marital status. He stopped the car, locked her inside and bought two cigarettes.

On reaching the destination, he allegedly forced her to rate him five stars on the Ola app. He also asked Suvarna for her number at which point she gave him her old number.

What baffled Suvarna was that the next day, she received a message from him on the number she used to book the taxi.

Ola has not responded to The News Minute's mails at the time of writing this article.

“Yesterday post 9PM I booked an Ola cab from Vittal Mallya to Hebbal. The ride started out as any would- non intrusive and the cabbie minding the roads. However, once we reached the Hebbal flyover the cabbie turned left (the route that leads to ORR) instead of going straight toward Kodigehalli. This didn't set off any red flags as its common to take the ORR route and turn toward Kempapura near nagwara. 

The cabbie from that point asked me questions such as "do you drink" and "are you a housewife?" "How come you're out so late?" He iterates that he's only 25 years old and I can't be much older. I was beyond stumped. He missed two left turns and ultimately turned only at the signal after I kept telling him to. Utterly freaked out, I message my mother (who isn't in town) and a friend and send them the cab details. Closer to mariampalya, the cabbie abruptly stopped the car, got out, (at this point I'm telling him I really need to get home) locked it, and bought two cigarettes. When he got back in the car he told me I have to smoke one fully. I kept the cigarette in my hand and gave him directions and finally, when we reached my house, I tell him to stop but he goes a little ahead. At that point, he tells me I have to rate him five stars. I'm rattled and do just that simply 'cause to me it meant it'd be the end of this ride and I'd be home safe. 

Then, he demands that I give him my number. He says something in Kannada that I only partially understood to mean that I should call him everytime around this hour if I want a cab. I entered a number that belonged to me till a few months ago (9545233572) and a fake name and think that's the end of it. 

Then, earlier today, I receive a whatsapp message from the cabbie on the number through which I booked the cab.

I'm a lawyer but I realised that being a woman is dangerous even in a city that's been my home for over 20 years if you dare travel after 9PM no matter what your profession is. Trust that I'll never use an Ola cab again after this incident. It's the worst kind of fear to think one will never reach home and something horrendous will take place.”

*Name changed on request

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