Cabbies attacked, passengers abused on day 2 of taxi strike in Mumbai

A female media professional was pulled out of a taxi and manhandled outside Mahim station allegedly by some striking drivers, who followed her in another taxi

The day mid-day reported the incident involving a few hooligans (‘Bricks fly as taxi strike in Mumbai turns ugly’) forcing a taxi ban by resorting to violence, a 25-year-old media professional travelling in a taxi was chased, manhandled and verbally abused in broad daylight by 10-12 people near Mahim station.

Mumbaikars had a hard time getting to work yesterday with taxis staying off the streets for a second day. Pics/Atul Kamble
Mumbaikars had a hard time getting to work yesterday with taxis staying off the streets for a second day. Pics/Atul Kamble

While the mob continued to hit the driver, the woman, who didn’t want to be named, managed to escape by running to Mahim railway station. The incident has again brought forth the violent turn taken by the strike, called by the Nitish Rane led Swabhiman Auto-Taxi Union.

Black-and-yellow taxi strike: Mumbaikars turn to trains, buses, radio cabs and car-pooling

With no cabs operating outside CST, commuters had no other option but to walk to their destinations
With no cabs operating outside CST, commuters had no other option but to walk to their destinations

The woman, who is in a state of shock, is yet to file a police complaint regarding the issue. As over 10,000 black and yellow taxis remained off roads even on Wednesday, some of the drivers who chose to work had to face the errant hooligans. These were alleged union supporter drivers, who forced some drivers to stop functioning, causing inconvenience to the commuters.

The incident
The incident took place at around 9.30 am on Wednesday when the woman was on her way to work to her Lower Parel office. “I usually take an Uber Cab to go to office but I noticed a black and yellow taxi on the road and when I asked the driver if he was ready to go to Lower Parel, he said yes.

Rather than call for an Uber Cab, I decided to opt for the taxi,” she said. When the taxi took a turn at Tulsi Pipe Road, she said a taxi van full of people dressed in partial khaki uniforms, gestured to them to stop. The taxi driver on the other hand, sped the vehicle to avoid the possible scuffle.

“A little before Mahim junction these people, began waving frantically as soon as they noticed that the taxi driver was plying a passenger. When the taxi driver sped the vehicle, the van started following us, and the people kept waving and screaming at us to stop.

I was hoping to get out of the situation, since I couldn’t figure what the problem was, but they finally overtook our cab and intercepted it near Mahim station,” she added. The mob forced the driver out of the vehicle.

Also Read: Black-and-yellow cabs want to take on Uber, Ola with own mobile app

While they allegedly continued to verbally abuse him in Hindi and Marathi, and hit him, they also pulled the woman out. “I didn’t understand what they were saying but they were angry and threatening. I was really scared at that point. As soon as I found a way to escape, I ran towards Mahim station.

A train came and I boarded it without even looking back,” said the woman. While she said that she was equally worried about the driver, she had to ensure her safety, due to which she fled the spot.

Police speak
When contacted, an official of Mahim police station, under whose jurisdiction the vicinity falls, said that the driver or the passenger has not registered a complaint. On enquiring why she chose to not complain, the woman said that she is in a state of shock due to the incident that took place in broad daylight, and might meet the police today.

“It could have happened to anybody, a child, a senior citizen. I understand the importance of seeking police intervention and filing a complaint but as of now I am a little shaken. Most probably tomorrow I will visit the concerned police station,” she said.

Another incident
Gaurav Joshi, who works as strategy consultant for Accenture and several other firms, faced a similar incident around the same time.

While Joshi was traveling from Dadar to BKC in a Kaali Peeli taxi, which he had managed to get after a long time, near Dharavi flyover, his cab was intercepted by a mob of 15-20 people who hurled abuses and asked the driver to stop the cab.

“We got really scared and my driver told them he was stopping and after pretending to do so, he suddenly sped away. I was scared that they would pelt stones, or follow us but thankfully, no such incident took place,” said Joshi.

Tweet talk

Sahil Shah@SahilBulla: My best friend got pulled out of a taxi by other taxi drivers who then pushed her around and threw stones at the cab. Strike but don’t be violent. Strike but don’t be so pathetic that you target women and touch them inappropriately. Guys my friend was attacked on Tulsi Pipe Road. If you are taking a taxi, Uber or ola just avoid that stretch.

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