Hyderabad: Cab services hit at airport after 2 drivers thrashed

Hyderabad: Various cab services at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) came to a halt since Sunday, after two drivers were allegedly thrashed within the airport premises in two different incidents in a span of two days. Though cabbies have stopped protesting, there are few cabs available for travellers.

In one incident that occurred on the evening of May 6, Ravi, an OLA driver was brutally thrashed and hurt on his face. Due to the physical abuse by the security staff, blood clots could be seen on his cheek.

Several passengers in queue await cabs as drivers protest leaving the pickup point empty

According to Ravi, he was waiting for his turn to pick up a passenger since he had a booking. However, the staff reportedly didn’t allow him to wait, and instead shifted that passenger to another cab. A heated argument ensued between the driver and the staff, which ended up with the driver getting thrashed by the staff.

Passengers were left stranded on Saturday night as well as early morning hours on Sunday as 200 cab drivers went offline on ride-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber and blocked the entrance demanding justice.

Following the issue, several passengers faced a lot of inconvenience when they arrived at the Hyderabad airport as Ola and Uber drivers blocked the road leading in and out of RGIA. Finally, the police arrived at the airport and dispersed the protesting cab drivers.

Ravi, however, claimed the cops said that they will deal with his matter the following day as they were deployed on the chief minister’s service when he approached them for justice.

In the second incident that transpired on Sunday evening in the parking area, a driver named Ram Nayak was thrashed by a passenger within the premises of the airport. According to the driver, he wanted to follow the route shown on the navigation, while the passenger wanted him to take the cab through the Outer Ring ROad (ORR).

His fellow drivers came to his rescue and saved him from the angry passenger, following which his ID was blocked by OLA authorities, owing to the complaint by the passenger.

However, Ram, who has been working with the app for seven years now, has pleaded with OLA authorities to at least probe the matter before they take any serious action against him.

“OLA authorities didn’t even check the CCTV footage before blocking my ID. I was thrashed and abused and I am paying the compensation for it,” said Ram.

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Speaking to Siasat.com Shaikh Salauddin of Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) president said, “Working conditions will remain poor and the risk of violence will remain high strict action against such incidents is taken.”

Salahuddin further claimed that GMR should arrange a meeting with the union and Ola Uber aggregator staff to resolve the issue and ensure drivers in the airport receive better treatment.

The TGPWU members filed a complaint at Shamshabad police station on Monday alleging illegal practices at the airport, affecting the income of poor drivers.

complaint raised by TGPWU members at Shamshabad police station