Updated: July 1, 2022 10:08:11 am
A 30-year-old driver of a popular cab aggregator was killed Sunday by three men who booked the cab from Tambaram to drop them in Chengalpet.
According to the police, the deceased, identified as Arjunan, had picked up the men from Tambaram Sunday. On the same evening, the police found him dead with his throat slit on the roadside near Vallam in Chengalpet. The victim, hailing from Sholinganallur, is survived by wife and one-month old twin babies.
The police said the accused identified as Prasanth, Thirumoorthy and Kattimuthu belong to Perambalur and were working in Chennai.
Based on the complaint of the Village Administrative Officer, Chengalpet Taluk Police registered a case under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. The police formed special teams to nab the accused.
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During the course of the investigation, the police found that the driver was riding a Xylo car for the cab aggregator Ola and the CCTV footage confirmed them. The cops have nabbed the accused with the help of the mobile number that was used to book the cab and other pieces of evidence.
“The men, with the aim of earning quick money, planned to loot an ATM kiosk using a stolen vehicle. They had come from Koyambedu to Tambaram, and from there they booked an Ola to Chengalpet. On the way they had forced the driver to provide his vehicle and leave the place. When the driver refused, Prasanth pulled out a knife from his pocket and slit the throat of Arjunan. The men then pushed him on the ground. The gang then drove the car all the way to Melmaruvathur where they abandoned the vehicle without executing the plan after noting that it did not have the required speed. The men then went back to their native places. We have detained them and are conducting the investigation. We are planning to slap Goondas Act on them,” an officer attached to the Chengalpet Taluk Police station noted.
Though the cops managed to capture the accused, the family refused to accept the body after a post-mortem examination. The co-workers urged the cab firm to give compensation to Arjunan’s family and provide security for the staff in the near future. They staged a protest at Chepauk and Chitlapakkam Wednesday urging the aggregator to provide compensation for the victim.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Mahendran, treasurer of Sigaram Otunar Thozhir Sangam (Sigaram Drivers Union), one among the four unions that participated in the protest in Chepauk, said the cab aggregators should focus on the safety of the drivers.
“We gave petitions to the Chengalpet district collector Tuesday that if no compensation is provided to the victim, we will stage a protest near the Transport Commissioner’s office. We have demanded the company to provide Rs 25 lakh to the victim’s family or we won’t take the body. After much deliberation, they agreed to provide Rs 5 lakh to the family, and the body was accepted by the family yesterday (Wednesday) and the last rites were performed late in the night,” he said.
Mahendran said the firms need to improve their safety measures by updating their application.
“Just like how they are asking for KYC details from the drivers, they need to have that from the customer as well because we don’t know who is getting into our cab. Arjunan’s fate can happen to any of us. Now in an emergency, if the driver clicks on the SOS emergency button in the app, it will take to the control room which is of no use because the police themselves are too busy with other work and hence they don’t pay attention to this. The application needs to be developed in such a way that if there is an emergency, an SOS message should be sent to at least three people, including the police station in the limit, Ola office and a close contact of the driver,” he said.
The drivers further alleged that the insurance is not done in a systematic manner by the aggregators and the families of their colleagues had to toil hard to get their insurance amount. Ola authorities were not available for comments.
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