Traumatised cabbie prepares to leave city

An Ola cab driver who was abducted, assaulted and robbed by four unidentified miscreants — who also forced his wife to strip on video call — is so traumatised by the incident that he has decided to return to his native in Andhra Pradesh.

An Ola cab driver who was abducted, assaulted and robbed by four unidentified miscreants — who also forced his wife to strip on video call — is so traumatised by the incident that he has decided to return to his native in Andhra Pradesh.

Shivakumar (name changed), 37, hails from Kadiri in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. He had come to the city 15 years ago and worked as a driver at call centres before moving to the cab aggregator five years ago.

Speaking to DH, Shivakumar said it was the second time that he was assaulted on duty. Previously, he was beaten up by a passenger during night shift.

Shivakumar lives with his wife and two children at a rented house in Doddathogur.

Friday nightmare

Shivakumar was abducted from Adugodi on Friday night by a gang that had hailed his cab.

He initially thought he would be released unharmed after he gave in to their demands of withdrawing money from ATMs. But, even after giving them Rs 30,000, the assailants asked him to make a video-call to his wife, who was then forced to strip. The gang took screenshots of the act.

Later, Shivakumar was taken to a lodge in Channapatna. When the robbers realised that he didn’t have any money left, they threatened to upload his wife’s screenshots on social media. He was forced to call his brother-in-law who, in turn, transferred him money online.

In the lodge, Shivakumar said he overheard the assailants plotting to kill him on way to Madikeri. He, however, escaped through the window of the washroom.

‘Run to station’

After he escaped around 7.05 am on Saturday, Shivakumar came across a police constable attached to Channapatna station near the lodge and informed him about the incident. But the policeman asked him to “run” to the station and inform them. After spending nearly 30 minutes at the police station, two constables came to the lodge with him on two bikes, by which time the assailants had fled.

Shivakumar said the assailants were looking for ganja and liquor on Friday night, but in vain. “They told me that I was alive because there was no ganja or liquor. They would have killed me in an inebriated state. They also said they are not afraid of police complaints,” he said.

All the four assailants were aged between 22 and 30, well-built and spoke in Kannada and English.

There has been no arrest in the case yet. The Adugodi police have formed a team to nab the culprits.

Ola yet to reach out to victim

Shivakumar said that it has been three days since the assault and two days since he filed a police complaint but Ola, the company which facilitated the assailants to book the cab, had not contacted him. He said that like thousands of drivers, he worked day and night for the company but none from the Ola team contacted him to extend any support.

To a query, an Ola spokesperson insisted that the company was "on top of the case".

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Traumatised cabbie prepares to leave city

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