Rapido driver masturbates while riding: Arrested after Bengaluru woman complains

Bengaluru Police arrested a Rapido bike driver on Saturday following allegations made by a woman customer. The woman claimed that the driver engaged in inappropriate behavior while riding the bike, which included masturbating, and later harassed her through WhatsApp messages after dropping her at her destination.

Last week, Athira Purushothaman took to Twitter to share her distressing experience. She mentioned that upon booking the bike ride, she noticed that the Rapido driver arrived on a different motorcycle. Despite previous cancellations of auto rides from the same platform, she decided to proceed with the motorcycle ride.

During the ride, when they reached an isolated area with no other vehicles around, the driver began his inappropriate behavior, leaving her feeling unsafe and frightened. He allegedly started masturbating while still riding the bike with one hand. Despite her fear, she remained silent throughout the ordeal.

To protect her privacy and avoid disclosing her home location, Athira got off the motorcycle about 200 meters away from her actual destination. However, after the ride was over, the Rapido rider started calling her on WhatsApp, which led her to block the contact. She shared a screenshot of the chat as evidence.

Rapido driver masturbates while riding: Arrested after Bengaluru woman complains

She raised concerns about Rapido’s safety measures, especially as the person persisted in contacting her from different phone numbers. On July 22, Bengaluru Police took prompt action in response to the incident. CK Baba, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South-East Division, Bengaluru City Police, addressed the issue on Twitter, informing the public that the police had apprehended the rider. He emphasized that such indecent behavior would not be tolerated, and a criminal case has been filed against the offender.

Bangalore Police seized 120 Rapido bikes last year

Rapido driver masturbates while riding: Arrested after Bengaluru woman complains

As a result of protests from taxi unions and autorickshaw drivers in Bengaluru against Rapido bike-taxi last year, the authorities of Yeshwantpur RTO seized 120 two-wheelers registered under Rapido. The vehicles were seized in just four hours on the grounds that they were whiteboard vehicles, which were not authorized to be used as bike taxis.

L Narendra Holkar, the additional commissioner of transport (enforcement), made an official statement, asserting that whiteboard vehicles, whether two-wheelers, four-wheelers, or autorickshaws, were not allowed to operate as taxis under any circumstances. Multiple complaints from autorickshaw drivers indicated that these whiteboard vehicles were illegally operating on the roads of Bengaluru without the necessary documents.

The situation escalated into an ugly rivalry between autorickshaw drivers and bike-taxi operators when the former staged a heavy protest against the use of bike taxis in Bengaluru. The autorickshaw drivers argued that if whiteboard bike taxis were allowed to operate, they should also be permitted to use whiteboards. The bike-taxi operators, such as Rapido, were offering more competitive fare charges, posing significant competition to the autorickshaw drivers. The latter claimed that they had already suffered substantial losses in their earnings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)