Woman passenger jumps from moving Rapido bike after being groped: Rider arrested

Mobility solution applications like Rapido, Ola, and Uber have made commuting more convenient, but they have also brought horrific experiences for customers. A recent incident in Bengaluru highlights this issue, where a woman jumped off a moving Rapido motorcycle to escape sexual harassment by the Rapido bike rider.

On April 21st, a 30-year-old woman architect (whose identity has been kept hidden) booked a Rapido bike to her home in Indiranagar. The bike rider, named Deepak Rao, arrived at her location and snatched her mobile phone from her hands, claiming that he needed to check the OTP. The woman realized that the motorcycle and its registration number mentioned in the app were different from the motorcycle that arrived at her location but agreed to board the bike taxi.

Rider started going in a different direction

Woman passenger jumps from moving Rapido bike after being groped: Rider arrested

However, a few minutes later, the bike taxi rider started riding towards Doddaballpura, which was opposite from her drop-off location in Indiranagar. When the woman rider questioned him, he didn’t respond. The woman tried to snatch her phone back, but he snatched it again and increased the speed of the motorcycle.

The woman also claimed that the bike taxi rider groped her. To protect herself, the woman jumped off the moving motorcycle near BMS Institute of Technology and Management. This incident got recorded on the CCTV camera outside the institute. The bike taxi rider fled from the spot, and the woman filed a police complaint.

The police promptly arrested Deepak Rao on April 23rd and booked him under various sections of kidnapping, sexual assault, attacking the modesty of a woman, and causing hurt to her. Despite the incident, Rapido has not contacted the woman or released an official statement. This incident highlights the carelessness and negligence of mobility applications in hiring and monitoring their riding/driving partners.

Many bike taxis seized

Last year, Bengaluru Police seized more than 100 Rapido scooters deeming them illegal. According to the police, bike taxis being used illegally in the city are not eligible for insurance coverage in case of accidents or any loss of vehicle or lives. Any person found operating an illegal bike taxi will face a fine of Rs 10,000-15,000 for violating the rules.

Pavan Guntupalli, co-founder of Rapido, expressed disappointment over this matter. He stated that bike taxi riders are being harassed for no valid reason, as autorickshaw drivers are protesting against the competition from bike taxis. He also confirmed that Rapido operates within the boundaries of the law and is a regular tax-paying entity in all the states where it operates.

The rivalry between autorickshaw drivers and bike taxi operators turned ugly when the former staged a heavy protest against the use of bike taxis in Bengaluru.