A passenger who mercilessly beat up an auto rickshaw driver was let off by the police without even a warning yesterday. The 28-year-old rickshaw driver was left with a swollen jaw, as the passenger punched him repeatedly in the face after alleging that his electronic meter was faulty.
Adding insult to his injury, when the driver, along with the commuter, approached the Parksite police station in Vikhroli, the cops asked him to forget the matter, telling him ‘passenger bhagwan ka roop hota hai’ (‘passenger is an image of God’). The shattered driver broke down in tears after the police refused to register his case, even though he was a victim of a violent, unprovoked attack.
According to the rickshaw driver, the passenger boarded his auto at Ghatkopar for Bhandup at noon yesterday. As the rickshaw waited at a traffic signal in Vikhroli, the passenger started complaining that the meter was running fast.
“After the passenger started questioning my meter, I told him that if he had any doubts then we should go to the police station and resolve it. He then asked me to step out of the auto, after which he punched me in my face repeatedly,” said the rickshaw driver Sanjay Giri.
The duo then proceeded to the Parksite police station where the police didn’t register a complaint or warn the passenger. “Instead of registering my grievance, they asked me to forget the matter and said ‘passenger bhagwan ka roop hota hai’. The police officials only noted our respective addresses and mobile numbers and asked us to leave the police station. They told us they will call us tomorrow,” said Giri.
Giri then broke down and started crying in front of the police station, demanding justice. He said that it is not the passenger who is on the receiving end all the time as mentioned in the media and elsewhere. “We have to deal with several such passengers daily. It is unnerving to know that people can get away with this sort of violent behaviour,” said Giri.
Senior Inspector Suresh Shankarrao Sakpal, Parksite police station, said, “I am not aware of this matter, as I am out on Ganpati bandobast duty since morning. I will be going back to the police station later and will look into the matter.”