Bengaluru auto-driver smashes 'northeastern' Rapido agent's helmet; calls him 'foreigner'
A video of a Bengaluru auto driver harassing a Rapido bike taxi rider has gone viral on social media. In the clip, the auto driver can be seen abusing the bike taxi rider—reportedly from northeastern India—and smashing an extra helmet he was carrying for customers. Taking note of the incident, the Bengaluru Police said a case was registered, adding strict action would be taken.
Know about incident involving auto driver, Rapido rider
The bike taxi rider, who hails from the northeast, is a Rapido employee. In the video, he is seen not retaliating against the auto driver's abuse. Reportedly, the accused claimed that Bengaluru auto drivers were running into losses due to bike taxi riders. "You come from a different place and do this service. It is a loss to auto drivers," the auto driver claimed.
This man from 'another country': Auto driver in video
In addition, the accused auto driver also claimed that the Rapido rider was "from another country." "As you can all see, this man is from another country. He happily operates bike taxis here. This shows how the auto department reeks of corruption (sic)," the auto driver says in the viral clip.
Incident happened near Indira Nagar Metro Station
According to numerous media reports, the incident allegedly took place near Bengaluru's Indira Nagar Metro Station on Monday. As for the video's origin, it has been revealed that an onlooker filmed the entire incident and shared it on social media platforms. The person also tagged the Bengaluru City Police authorities in the video and demanded action against the auto driver.
Bengaluru Police books accused auto driver
After the video went viral, the city police initiated a probe and registered a case against the auto driver. Meanwhile, the bike taxi rider is yet to file a complaint against the accused. "Indira Nagar Police is investigating the incident. Strict and necessary action will be taken," the Bengaluru City Police replied to a Twitter post that showed the video from the alleged incident.
Ongoing feud between auto rickshaw unions, bike taxis
Notably, the incident comes amid a protest by members of the local autorickshaw union against bike taxis. In 2018, about 13 states and union territories (UTs) in the country, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi, allowed bike taxis to operate. However, on the back of the rising protests from auto unions, numerous state governments started flagging issues of violations in 2019.
Delhi government's recent ban on bike taxis
Last month, the Delhi government issued a notice to private two-wheelers, stating carrying passengers for a reward or hire would be considered a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, and aggregators would be fined Rs. 1 lakh. The notice said violators would be fined Rs. 5,000 for the first offense, while a second offense could lead to Rs. 10,000 fine and year-long imprisonment.
SC earlier rejected Rapido's plea for bike taxi aggregator license
Furthermore, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government also stated that some app-based ride-hailinh companies were showing themselves as aggregators, which violates the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. In February, the Supreme Court of India also refused to hear Rapido's appeal against the Maharashtra government's refusal to grant the company a two-wheeler bike taxi aggregator license.