BENGALURU: After an Ola customer got dubbed an “anti-national” last month by his driver, its now the turn of Uber customers.
On Wednesday night, poet and Mumbai resident Bappadittya Sarkar found much to his surprise that instead of driving him to his destination, his Uber driver drove him to the police station. Reason? The driver overhearing Sarkar's phone conversation with a friend, felt he was "anti-national."
Sarkar was also shocked to find the Uber driver had recorded his conversation with the friend. Sarkar then asked the police to check the recordings if there were slogans like "hum desh jala denge" or anything else to show he was "anti-national."
As polarisation and political debates get more heated in India, more such incidents could arise for tech giants like Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Flipkart and Amazon. Swiggy and Zomato have faced flak earlier when they stood by their Muslim delivery agents. Amazon has repeatedly faced calls for boycotts on social media for selling items of Hindu deities.
On Wednesday's incident Uber India said, "This is concerning. We'd like to address this on priority. A member from our safety team will get in touch with you at the earliest."
Narrating the incident, Sarkar says he was at Silver Beach, Juhu on Wednesday night and booked a cab around 10.30-10.45 PM to go back to Kurla, where he was staying. After he got into the cab he called up a friend to talk about protest cultures in different cities, including what happened in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh.
Within 20 minutes of boarding, the Uber driver Rohit Singh then asked if he could use the ATM to which Sarkar agreed. Minutes later, the Uber driver returned with two policeman and then Sarkar realised he'd been driven to Santa Cruz West police station.
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