In yet another incident which has raised questions over the safety of women, a 23-year-old fashion industry professional was allegedly sexually harassed in Bengaluru by the driver of her Ola cab. The incident took place at Sunday night around 10.30 pm.
The victim was travelling from Indiranagar to BTM Layout. It was when the vehicle reached the Intermediate Ring Road that the driver allegedly attempted to sexually assault her, while she was in the backseat of the car. Resisting her advances, the victim tried to get out the car.
“But I realised that the child lock was on. I threatened to break the window, it was only then that the driver let me get out of the vehicle,” the victim told TNM.
Making things worse, her mobile phone was also out of charge and she could not call the police.
“I had to run for more than five minutes to find another vehicle to go home. I was scared that he could have done anything as the place was deserted,” she said.
The two-and-a-half-kilometre stretch of the Intermediate Ring Road from Embassy Golf Links to Ejipura signal does not have any shops or buildings.
It was only upon reaching the Ejipura signal that she found an autorickshaw. She approached the Madiwala Police Station but decided against registering an official complaint.
“I have decided not to file a First Information Report (FIR). I have approached Ola and they have assured me that he will be taken off their system,” the victim said.
An official at the Madiawala Police Station said, "The alleged incident happened within Viveknagar Police Station limits. But the victim did not want us to file an FIR. She told us to warn the driver and we did."
Following the complaint by the victim, Ola has suspended the driver from its platform.
An Ola spokesperson said, "We regret the unfortunate experience the customer had during their ride. We have zero tolerance to such incidents and the driver has been suspended from the platform as an immediate action, upon receiving the complaint. We have also urged the customer to lodge a formal complaint with the authorities. Safety of customers is our priority and we will continue to extend our full support to this investigation against the said driver.”
This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in Bengaluru. In April, another Ola user was allegedly sexually assaulted by a driver. Even in that incident the assault took place on a deserted road.