A Bengaluru woman on Wednesday had accused the Zomato delivery executive of assaulting and injuring her. He refutes the allegations.

Collage of zomato worker Kamaraj and Hitesha Chandranee
Atom Controversy Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 17:48

A day after Hitesha Chandranee, a woman in Bengaluru, made an Instagram video accusing a Zomato delivery executive of assaulting and injuring her, TNM spoke to the delivery executive involved in the incident. Kamaraj, who has been suspended by Zomato after Hitesha’s video went viral, refutes the allegations made by the woman that he barged into her house without provocation and hit her, and says that it was Hitesha who first verbally abused him, and then hit him with a chappal. 

Read: Zomato co-founder says they are covering legal, med expenses for Kamaraj and Hitesha

“After I reached her apartment door, I handed her the food and I was expecting her to pay me (as she had opted for cash on delivery mode of payment),” Kamaraj tells TNM, “I also apologised since the delivery was delayed due to traffic and bad roads. But she was very rude from the outset. She asked me ‘Why are you late?’ I replied apologetically, as there were road blocks due to ongoing civic works and there were traffic jams as well.  But she kept on insisting that the order has to be delivered within 45-50 minutes. I am working on this job for more than two years and this is the first time that I have had to go through this kind of an ordeal.”

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Kamaraj says that the customer, Hitesha, took the food — and then refused to pay for the order. She said she was talking with Zomato chat support. Fearing that he will lose money, he pleaded that she pay for the order, he says. “At this point, she called me a ‘slave’ and then she started shouting ‘What can you do?’ In the meantime, Zomato support told me that they have cancelled the order from their end based on her request and I asked her to return the food but she did not cooperate,” he adds. 

He further says that judging by her actions, he decided that he would leave the apartment building without taking her food. “At this point, when I was walking towards the lift, she started using expletives in Hindi. She suddenly threw slippers at me and started hitting me. For my safety, when she was hitting me, I tried to use my hand to shield her blows,” he says. 

“At this point, when she was trying to push my hand away, she accidentally hit herself with her finger ring on the nose, which led to the bleeding. Anybody who sees her face, will understand that this wouldn't be created by a punch. And I don’t wear any rings,” he says. Hitesha in her Instagram video is seen wearing a ring.  

She did not allow him to leave using the lift, so he had to run down the stairs to the third floor, says Kamaraj. “Then the Zomato support system person in Delhi also supported me and offered me empathy after I narrated the ordeal that I had to go through. The problem is there is no CCTV footage to prove my innocence,” he says. 

Around 6.30 pm on Wednesday, Kamaraj was called by the Electronic City Phase 1 Police Station where he was questioned for two hours. “The police did not disrespect me in any way. But now I have to spend Rs 25,000 for legal expenses to prevent my arrest,” he says.

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On Wednesday, Hitesha alleged that the Zomato delivery partner punched her on the nose when she questioned why the delivery order was late. She had narrated in the video that she placed an order at 3.30 pm on March 9, which was supposed to be delivered by 4.30 pm, but since she did not receive her order on time, she got in touch with Zomato’s customer support, and asked them to either waive off the charges for the order or cancel the order. When Kamaraj came to her door, she asked him to wait as she was speaking to a customer care representative, which is when she says he started abusing her. Hitesha then alleged that the executive entered her home, and she picked up her slipper in self-defence, but he punched her. 

Following Hitesha’s viral video, Zomato suspended Kamaraj temporarily and he has been booked by Bengaluru police based on Hitesha’s complaint to police. TNM has carried her version of events on Wednesday in full. 

(With inputs from  Sanyukta Dharmadhikari)

Read: Bengaluru woman injured in altercation with Zomato delivery exec, nasal bone broken

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