Two isolated incidents that took place in Bengaluru during wee hours on Monday has left bike taxi workers in fear. While an armed trio abducted and robbed a bike taxi driver in Hosur Road, another similar incident took place near Parappana Agrahara, a couple of hours after the same incident.
Officials from the Bengaluru City Police department, who are now investigating the cases, suspect that both the incidents might have been carried out by the same trio, according to primary evidence collected.
According to police, the first incident took place around 12.30 am near Kudlu Gate off Hosur Road. The victim, Dhaneshwar, was allegedly attacked with a knife by one member from the trio as he reached a pick-up location provided on the application.
“The area was poorly lit when three men robbed him after stabbing the Rapido driver on the left side of his neck. He was then abducted on the same vehicle after the gang robbed his purse, mobile phone and power bank. He was then taken to an isolated place where he was punched and was forced to give away details of his ATM card and the entire amount he had in his Google Pay account,” an officer from Parappana Agrahara police station told Indianexpress.com.
However, the victim managed to get away from his abductors who were drunk as he ran into a police patrolling vehicle where he narrated the incident. The police then took him to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
Parappana Agrahara police have registered a case under section 397 (Robbery or dacoity, with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In a similar incident at around 2.45 am on the same day, another bike taxi rider Amal Singh was stabbed and robbed by a trio at Kudlu where his personal belongings like two mobile phones, wallet with debit and credit cards, and his jacket were taken away.
These two incidents have created fear among other bike taxi workers who are now concerned about their safety and security. Bhavesh, an IT professional who rides post working hours, said, “It is disheartening to see people misusing such a platform which mutually helps the rider and the driver. While emergency panic buttons are available on the application, it is not easy to keep an eye on the phone as well while riding.”
It can be recalled that the Karnataka transport department had termed such bike taxi aggregators ‘illegal’, saying that it lacks a legal framework for operations, earlier this year. The department had even seized several vehicles attached to the smartphone application then.
When contacted, a spokesperson from the bike taxi company said, “We will provide legal assistance to the captains (rider) who got injured. We are also assisting police with information recorded about the customers to help find them.”