A driver attached to cab-aggregator Ola was arrested after a 22-year-old Bengaluru engineer accused him of harassing her during a ride.
Arijita Banerjee was traveling from her friend's house in Ejipura to her PG accommodation in Nagawara in an Ola cab driven by Mohammed Azhardeen at 8:30 am on Monday. The cab was booked by her father and Arijita claims that the payment for the ride was made through a cashless transaction.
However, an argument broke out between Arijita and the driver after the latter asked for a cash payment instead of an online payment.
"The driver did not listen in spite of being told that the money had been paid via online payment. He abused, pushed and threatened me and also forced me to pay Rs 500 in cash," she states in her complaint.
Arijita told TNM that the cab driver spoke to her father and threatened to drop her off in a different location. "He snatched my phone when I was talking to my father and he said ‘I will sell off your daughter, throw her off in someplace’ and he was saying 'kaat dalunga', 'chod ke aaunga' in Hindi," she alleged.
She further added that the two got into an argument at the end of the ride and the driver once again threatened her by saying that he knows where she lives.
"At the end of the ride, I told him I will make sure he won't drive again and he responded by saying he will come back for me and that he knows where I stay now," she added.
Police officials at KG Halli police station registered a case against Mohammed under sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC.
An Ola spokesperson confirmed that the company had taken action against the accused driver based on an internal complaint made by the woman. "We regret the unfortunate incident and immediately suspended the driver from the platform upon receiving the complaint. We confirm that Ola's safety response team has been in contact with the customer and continues to offer all the required support. We are in touch with the relevant authorities and have shared the necessary information to aid them in their ongoing investigation," a spokesperson said.
In 2018, several incidents were reported by users of Ola which included incidents of sexual harassment faced by woman riders. The series of incidents prompted Ola to take measures to sensitise its drivers and announce.