Around 10.15 pm on Monday, Ola cab driver Shiv Kumar was looking for his last trip when he received a rental booking from Noida’s Sector 44. The four men who got into his white WagonR said they would first go to Gurgaon before being dropped home. In the hours that followed, Kumar was beaten up, held hostage till 3 am and thrown out of the car.
Early on Tuesday, two of the men were arrested after an exchange of fire between them and police. “The two have been identified as Rahul Chauhan and Kunal Singh, residents of Dadri. They received injuries during retaliatory police firing and have been admitted to Noida district hospital. Four cases of robbery and loot have been registered against them. They would steal cars and then sell the parts. The other two are still absconding,” said Nishank Sharma, Circle Officer (Dadri).
The accused were apprehended close to the railway tracks near Kot Nahar in Dadri, after police spotted the stolen WagonR. “Our teams tried to stop them but they opened fire. We managed to nab two of the accused and recover the car. Two .315 bore country-made pistols, two used and two unused bullets have been also recovered,” Sharma added.
Narrating his ordeal, Kumar told The Indian Express that he had picked up the men near Gate number 1 of Amrapali Society.
“It was a rental booking. I thought that it would take around 1-2 hours before my duty ended. During the journey, they did not say anything or act in a way which would have raised an alarm. They told me that they had some work in Gurgaon,” Kumar said.
However, as the taxi reached a deserted stretch near Sohna road, Kumar said the men attacked him. “They took out country-made pistols and a big knife. They beat me up and made me crouch on the floor behind. For the next two hours, they drove around Delhi. Around 2.45-3.00 am, I was thrown out of the car near Pushta road. I managed to call police by borrowing a phone from a passerby,” Kumar said.
A resident of Noida’s Badarpur, Kumar hails from Pratapgarh district and has been driving for five years. He joined Ola less than two months ago. “I bought a car and started working for Ola… The car will be given to me by police in a few days… I will be more careful in the future — avoid deserted stretches, not drive late at night and cancel duties if I sense something amiss,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Ola spokesperson said, “This is an unfortunate incident. We are in touch with the family of the driver partner. We are also supporting the authorities with their investigation.”