Bengaluru Police took swift action and arrested a Rapido bike driver on Saturday following allegations of harassment and indecent behavior made by a woman on social media. The incident came to light after the victim, identified as Athira Purushothaman, took to Twitter on July 21 to share her harrowing ordeal.
According to her account, Athira had booked a Rapido auto to return home after attending the Manipur violence protest at Town Hall in Bangalore. However, due to multiple cancellations, she opted to travel via a bike from the app-based ride-hailing platform.
During the ride, the driver’s behavior took a disturbing turn when he allegedly started masturbating while driving the motorcycle with one hand. Athira recounted that the situation escalated further when they reached a remote area with no other vehicles around. Feeling unsafe and fearful for her well-being, she remained silent throughout the distressing experience.
In an attempt to safeguard her privacy, Athira requested the driver to drop her a few meters away from her home. Despite making the full payment for the ride, her ordeal did not end there. The driver allegedly began continuously calling and texting her, making her uncomfortable and anxious.
The woman bravely shared a screenshot of the inappropriate messages, including a text that said ‘love you’, reportedly sent by the driver on WhatsApp. Fearing for her safety, Athira blocked the driver to avoid further contact.
Responding promptly to her social media thread, Bengaluru City Police assured Athira that the concerned officials were alerted and urged her to reach out to them with her contact details.
In a significant development, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South-East Division, Bengaluru City Police, CK Baba, confirmed that the “real sicko on wheels” had been arrested. The police also assured the public that they would not tolerate such indecent behavior and that a criminal case had been lodged against the accused at E’ City Police Station.
Instances of harassment and inappropriate behavior in ride-hailing services have been a cause of concern in many cities. Authorities and service providers are working together to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers, but incidents like these underscore the need for continued vigilance and stringent measures to protect passengers from such disturbing encounters.
Bengaluru Police’s swift response and the arrest of the accused send a strong message that such indecent acts will not be tolerated, and those responsible will face the full force of the law. It serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining safety and security measures in the transportation sector, ensuring that passengers can travel without fear or harassment.