In yet another incident of violence against food delivery workers that has come to light in Bengaluru, 25-year-old Karthik Hariprasad was allegedly attacked by four young men, who had ordered food on Swiggy. In the incident which reportedly took place late in the evening on May 28 in Rajajinagar, the customers had demanded free food after they made a failed attempt to cancel the order on the platform when Karthik had already reached for delivery. The incident came to light after his story was put out on social media by a friend and was later shared by many others. Waseem, whose post on the issue got a lot of traction on Instagram is helping raise money for Karthik to cover his expenses for the damages.
When Karthik asked the customers to pay, they allegedly refused and insisted that they be given the food for free. Karthik says he then decided that if the customers did not pay, he would give the food to the needy. However, the four men, around the age of 20, have been accused of verbally abusing him and when Karthik protested, he was met with blows. Overpowered by four men, Karthik alleges that he was knocked unconscious with his head left to bleed and stones thrown at him by the group. As a result of the fight, his phone, bike and helmet were also damaged. Worse, the four also ran away with Rs 1,800 in cash that Karthik had saved up for his sister’s wedding.
Fortunately for Karthik, other food delivery workers spotted him and called the police and he was taken to a hospital where he got stitches. Seeing others approaching them, the accused fled the spot.
With his sister’s wedding scheduled within a week and given his injuries, Karthik decided to travel back to his hometown in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district without filing a formal complaint. Speaking to TNM, Karthik said that the police have been very helpful. “The inspector (Magadi Road Station) has been in constant touch with me. I will be going back to Bengaluru on Wednesday and register a complaint officially. Swiggy has said they will share customer details with the police too,” he said. He added that he is thankful for all the financial support extended to him by strangers. “I have got more money than I needed for the repairs and my expenses. So I want to donate the surplus money for a noble cause. I am yet to decide on how exactly I will do that,” he added.
For his medical expenses, Swiggy has asked him to encash his employer's health insurance and offered him legal help to deal with the police. Speaking to TNM, Sreehari, the concerned police inspector, said that they are already in touch with Swiggy and will formally start investigating and register an FIR after Karthik gives complaint.