Uber driver abuses Shivaji; snatches phone from passenger to give himself 5-star rating

The Uber cab was going from Parel to Sena Bhavan in Mumbai. The driver Aftab, while crossing the Shivaji Mandir, hurled an expletive at one of the greatest icons of Maharashtra and the nation.

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Mumbai: A different kind of a harrowing experience while riding an Uber cab surfaced on 16 April. This was not about the safety of women in taxis hired via aggregator services, reports of the kind that unsettled Indians some years ago. Here, a driver abused a venerated icon of Maharashtra. When the passenger objected to the expletives driver Aftab had hurled at Chhatrapati Shivaji, the driver argued with him first and then abused him too.

“I had a terrible Uber experience,” says Samiir Halady on Twitter. “I was going from Parel to Sena Bhavan. (The) driver was one Aftab. While we were passing (sic) Shivaji Mandir opposite Plaza, he started with “Teri maa ka bh***Yeh sab jagah Shivaji. Uski pooja karte hain (these mother f****** worship Shivaji everywhere).”

Samiir told Aftab to mind his language. “He didn’t. Then he started telling me Tum bhi pooja karte ho uski (you worship him too). Band karo (stop it). Aap bolo ki aise logonki pooja nahi karenge (tell me you would not worship people like these). “I said its (sic) my wish,” Halady added.

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The passenger said no one was forcing the driver to worship Shivaji. “Then his tone got more threatening,” Halady narrates the story of unsolicited advice and abuse by the Uber driver.

“He said aap jabardasti kyon kar rahe ho (he accused me of coercing him). Aapko bola na uski pooja nahi karni (did I not warn you against worshipping him)?” Halady wrote on Twitter.

The passenger told the driver it was the latter who was forcing his way through. To that, Aftab reportedly stopped the car at the Sena Bhavan signal and asked Samiir to get off.

“I refused. I had to go towards the Sushrusha Hospital. Then I told him to drop me at the stated location,” Samiir said.

Samiir Halady is known to Sirf News. He requires regular dialysis.

Halady says that the driver “reluctantly” dropped him at the destination that he had registered in the mobile application of Uber. But the ordeal was not over yet.

“When I was getting off, he grabbed my phone and gave himself a 5* (5-star) rating. I realised it, changed the rating and gave him one star,” Halady tweeted.

The whole story follows. Uber has reportedly refunded the charge for the trip to Samiir. But what action has been taken against driver Aftab is not known.

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