BENGALURU: “I knew that no one will come for her help as it was an isolated place and she was panicking as all the doors were locked. There is no chance to raise an alarm as I already snatched her mobile phone before molesting her,” Arun V, (28), the Ola driver accused of molesting a young woman architect while dropping her to the Kempegowda International Airport on June 1, told the police after his arrest by JB Nagar police.
On June 1, Arun had driven the cab towards an isolated place near Kothanur and molested the 24-year-old woman passenger who was heading to the airport to take a flight to Mumbai on work. A senior police officer said, “Arun was thoroughly interrogated and we came to know that he was not involved in any crimes earlier. Arun told the police that taking advantage of the situation, he molested her and he knew that no one would come to help and he repeatedly demanded sexual favours before stopping the car. He was very confident that she will not be able to open the doors to escape.”
Arun, a resident of Kasaghattapura in Chikkabanawara, is married and has two children. His family was still not aware why he was taken into police custody, JB Nagar police said.On June 1, the victim mailed a complaint to the city police commissioner alleging that she had booked a cab from Kodihalli near Indiranagar to reach Airport as she was going to fly to Mumbai and her flight was scheduled to depart at 5 am. Around 2.30 am, the driver took the Kothanur road to reach the airport. But he stopped the car on the way as she was alone and centrally locked the doors before reaching an isolated place. He started sexually harassing and threatening her not to scream. He also held her neck saying that he would call his friends to rape her if she tried to escape or raise an alarm.
As she kept quiet, he allegedly snatched her mobile phone and then stripped her, clicked photos with her phone and later shared the photos via WhatsApp to him. He blackmailed her that he would upload the photos online if she revealed the incident to any one.The shocked woman however, begged him to drop her to the airport and soon after reaching Mumbai she shot off a mail to the city police commissioner about the horror.
Ola spokesperson said in a statement that, “Arun, the driver-partner in question holds a valid police verification check that confirms no criminal cases had been recorded against him. We often conduct awareness programmes with our driver partners to ensure safety of all kinds of passengers. Especially, the drivers will be trained on how to behave with women passengers. But when we hear such horrific incidents we feel very bad and immediately take action against those involved in such heinous crimes.”
Previous horrors in Ola
December 5, 2017: An Ola driver, Rajashekar Reddy, had misbehaved with a woman on the Outer Ring Road and held her “hostage” for quite some time by locking the car doors, in the night during the ride from Indiranagar. She had twisted his arm and started banging on the door following which he stopped misbehaving. She later filed with Madiwala police.
April 28, 2017: A female singer heading home from a pub in Koramangala was molested by Ola driver Imran. She, however, managed to escape from the cab and walked to a hospital. Later, she filed a case and based on information, Imran and cab owner were arrested by Bommanahalli police.
May 15, 2016: An Ola driver Manjunath alias Kiran attempted to misbehave with a woman during the travel in Indiranagar and as she raised an alarm he abandoned the cab and fled the spot.