Mumbai: 5 passengers assault Uber driver after he stops them from smoking

Aug 08, 2017, 19:40 IST | Faisal Tandel

Uber driver files case against five passengers for assaulting him after he dissuaded them from smoking; cops allegedly urged him to 'settle' the case, but he wants action against the bullies

Altaf Gaffar Shaikh is a Mira Road resident

An Uber driver has filed a case with Dadar police against five men who assaulted him and damaged his car after he dissuaded them from smoking inside the vehicle. The complainant, Altaf Gaffar Shaikh, 26, however, alleged that the police were urging him to accept Rs 3,000 as compensation from the accused and withdraw the case.

The Mira Road resident is the sole earning member of his family, which consists of his mother, wife, newborn child and two brothers, both in college. But, Shaikh insists it's not about the money -- he wants to take a stand against bullying and ensure the accused are punished.

According to sources, the incident took place on Friday. Speaking to mid-day, Shaikh said, "Around 7 pm, after dropping off a passenger near Phoenix mall, I accepted another trip for Uber. Five men boarded my vehicle, an Ertiga, from Lower Parel and we embarked on the journey to Yari road in Andheri. Minutes into the trip, one of them started smoking. I informed the passengers that as per our company policy, smoking is not allowed inside the vehicle. The car is air-conditioned and it runs on CNG, so the risk of an accident is higher."

The damaged car at the police station

The assault
Shaikh said that he had just taken the Elphinstone bridge when one of the accused demanded he stop the car. "We were on the bridge and the traffic situation was already a mess, but I stopped the car. Immediately, one of them disembarked and started banging on the vehicle. Inside the car, one of them caught my hands, while another man pulled the seat belt around my neck and tried strangulating me. Then they started punching me. The man who was outside the car dragged me out and assaulted me, thrashing and kicking me. In the chaos, my car keys fell on the road below the bridge. Some passers-by and Uber drivers who were nearby rushed to my aid. The five men tried to flee but my rescuers managed to catch one of them. We immediately went to Dadar police station to file a complaint."

According to Shaikh, all the five accused were drunk. The five accused have been identified as Shyamtak Ranjandas, 22, D Sinha, 22, Sujeet Kumar Jitendra Das, 22 and Siddhumhan Manish Kumar, 22. Incidentally, the group also included a minor, a 16-year-old boy.

Altaf Gaffar Shaikh is a Mira Road resident

Police inaction
The Dadar police registered a non-cognisable case that night, but Shaikh insisted that the accused be booked for assault and intimidation under relevant sections of the IPC. "But, to my utter surprise, the cops urged me to 'settle' the case by accepting Rs 3,000 as compensation for the damages I incurred. Bullies such as these men should be taught a lesson," he said.

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