BENGALURU: Imagine being taken on a ride on a lonely stretch in an unfamiliar city in the dead of the night without a single streetlight to lift up your spirits, and then having to run for your life after a set of 'hostile' cabbies descend on you for god knows what. This is what exactly happened to a professional with a city-based financial and strategic advisory firm, who had a dreadful experience when he booked a private app-based cab from Uber. His woes started when the cab took an unwelcome diversion on a service lane, nearly seven kilometres long, and empty too, at 1.30 am.
The incident took place near Mantri Circle towards Begur Road on August 29.
The passenger, who had just arrived in the city, had booked his cab from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). Terrified about what was happening, he began to shout at the driver, who claimed later that he did not know Hindi. Despite the passenger's protests, the driver refused to return to the well-lit flyover. And then came the most frightening part-two other cabs slowed down in what seemed to be a 'show of support' for the driver. All that the passenger- who had luckily kept the door open- could do was jump out and run for safety.
After a 14 hour long ordeal which included checking the CCTV footage at the main junctions, the cops with the help of their KIA counterparts, identified the driver, on Thursday. When questioned, the driver reportedly said he wanted to evade toll and took a diversion. A non-cognizable report has been taken up by the police in this regard on Wednesday. Shockingly, the CCTV cameras at the KIA pick-up zone have remained dysfunctional for the past five days, claimed the complainant.
An alleged misunderstanding caused by language barrier between a cab driver and a passenger led to high drama near Mantri Circle towards Begur Road in KIA police station limits early Wednesday. The complainant was travelling from Pune to Bengaluru and had booked an Uber cab. His landed around at 12.20 am at KIA. He told Deccan Chronicle, "I could have been murdered, robbed, assaulted or even worse could happen to me at that time and no one would know. The driver despite asking several times didn't stop the cab. I even logged on to the app and found the driver had not logged in and started the trip offline."
However, when this newspaper contacted Kempegowda International Airport police, they said the driver in a bid to avoid paying toll took another route and the misunderstanding was caused between the two due to language barrier. "The area was secluded and dark which left the passenger panic-stricken. The driver was confused and didn't understand as to why the passenger opened the doors and ran," a police official said.
The complaint claimed it all began when he booked an Uber cab at 12:47 am. "Uber has a new system for the cabs plying to airport. The driver and car details are not shared with the customer, but a six-digit pin is provided. The customers have to wait in queue and take the first car that comes in. The customer shares the pin with the driver and the trip starts."
"Last night after I entered the cab, I gave the pin to the driver and the driver said that he has started the trip. I didn't check the app to see. As we exited the Uber pick-up area, the driver asked how much I was paying for the trip and I disclosed the fare. He then said that he has to pay for diesel and I should pay the amount to him directly in cash or through PayTm. He said he will not go through the Uber platform," the complainant added.
The complainant got into an argument and demanded that he be dropped back to the airport. The driver refused and a little later made a call to his friends and spoke something in Kannada. He continued driving his cab in a slow pace and took a left turn from Mantri circle towards Begur Road. The panic stricken complainant allegedly opened the door and demanded that the driver stop the car. But, to his horror, two cars appeared - one overtook the cab, while the other began following it.
The complainant also said that all the three cars stopped around 300 meters from Mantri Circle on the road towards Begur. He jumped out of the car and sprinted towards the Mantri Circle. "I found some cops at the Circle. As we started approaching the cars, my driver fled," he stated....