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Harassment, Abuse & 56 Missed Calls: Bengal Scientist Recounts Harrowing 90-Min Cab Ride

(Representative image)

(Representative image)

A spat broke out when the woman asked the driver to put out the incense as she is allergic to its smell, but he refused and instead began abusing her.

Kolkata: A 46-year-old woman was allegedly harassed by an Ola cab driver after an altercation broke out between the two over burning an incense stick while she was inside the vehicle in Kolkata.

Following the squabble, the woman was driven in a different direction, away from her location and was dropped at her destination three hours later while she was made to sit through offensive slurs.

The incident took place on Saturday evening when the woman, who is a scientist by profession, had boarded a shared Ola taxi from BT road around 6pm, The Times of India reported. Her destination location was set for Prince Anwar Shah road. The woman was the third rider in the cab.

A spat broke out when the woman asked the driver to put out the incense as she is allergic to its smell, but he refused and instead began abusing her.

“There were two riders in the car when I boarded. The first thing that struck me was a strange smell inside the car. One of the riders pointed out about the incense stick burning beside the steering wheel. I am allergic to incense sticks and more importantly, burning incense sticks inside a car is unsafe. So, I asked the driver to put it out but he refused and began abusing me. I adjusted for some time and took inhalers. When I threatened to call the police, he put off the incense stick,” she told TOI.

After two riders got off near Brabourne Road, the driver resorted to rash driving and led to an accident with a bus near Sealdah flyover, said the woman, adding that a traffic official stopped the car near Sealdah station. Even as she complained to the cop about the driver’s behaviour, he was let go, she said.

She eventually dialed up the customer service care through the Ola App and lodged a complaint against the errant driver.

“The Ola representative told me that action would be taken against the driver and that his account was blocked for the day. But the driver told me that he had a booking at Maniktala and took a U-turn. As I called up the customer care operator again, the driver was asked to drop me and said that he would not receive any passenger for the day. After that, he started moving towards my home, but was driving very slowly,” she said.

Three hours later, she was dropped near home around 8.55pm. After dropping her, the driver demanded an extra Rs 100 from her for the extra time taken to reach her location.

“I had already paid him the fare, Rs 205, sometime after I boarded the cab. But the driver demanded Rs 100 more from me, claiming that it took him so much time to reach my destination. As I refused to pay him the extra money and walked away, the driver called me from different numbers, asking for the money. There were 56 missed calls,” the woman added.

The woman has now reported the incident to the police and lodged a detailed complaint with Ola and the Kolkata traffic police page on Saturday night.

“On Sunday, an official of Ola informed me that the driver has been de-rostered. But I want legal action against him. So far, cops have not contacted me,” she told TOI.

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