‘Scary’ ride: Cops in slow motion

A Mumbai woman was driven away from route on Ola app. Police say they need 15 days to take her case forward.
Last Updated 13 December 2018, 20:59 IST

The city police have taken up the case of Akanksha Hazari, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur, who described a scary experience on an Ola cab on Wednesday.

Intriguingly, although her ordeal is out in the public domain in full detail, the police say they want two weeks to act on it.

“We are in touch with her but as she is not available for the next 15 days, we will have to wait for her to get back to take the case further,” City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar told Metrolife.

On December 10 at 11.30 pm, Akanksha booked a cab from the airport, but the driver changed the route as soon as they were out.

She took to Twitter to share her ordeal with the driver, who deviated from the route map to avoid the toll, saying it would save her money.

When she told him to take the assigned route, he purportedly asked her to get out of the cab. She pressed the emergency button on the Ola app and an executive assured her the driver would drop her safely and that the ride was being tracked.

The problems continued. The driver started making calls even when she asked him not to speak on the phone while driving.

“A few kms further down he stops the car on the side of a poorly lit road and turns off the engine. He continues to make calls. Now I am really scared. There is nothing around me. Again only a few men loitering. I am not from Bangalore and I don’t know where I am,” read Akanksha’s tweet.

Her phone battery was dying and it took a while for her to get a response from the executive when she pressed the emergency button again.

The executive this time said he would stay on the phone with her on the driver’s phone till she reached the destination. She was eventually dropped home, but not before she had spent a harrowing hour on the road.

Ola responded by saying it had ‘blacklisted’ the driver. A spokesman says the driver actually stopped near the Hebbal police station and told the police he was innocent. Ola says an alert system would be introduced: if the driver takes the back road from the airport, customer care would check with the passenger if the change had his or her approval.

Harrowing night

- 11.30 pm Akanksha arrives from Mumbai

- She hails an Ola cab to enter city

- Driver takes non-toll road, saying it saves money

- He stops on dark street, making phone calls

- She presses panic button on Ola app

- Executive promises to track ride, but she says they didn’t. Ola demurs.

- Driver eventually drops her home

- Police take note of her tweets, contact her

- Ola blacklists cab driver, promises better safety.

(Published 13 December 2018, 13:16 IST)

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