Drivers come out on streets in protest after murder of an Ola driver

Ola and Uber drivers took to the streets on Monday, protesting the alleged murder of an Ola driver. 

This came days after they protested a lack of security on roads.

Protests started after the body of Hari Narayan, 35, was found near Alipur in Delhi on Sunday, almost 24 hours after he went missing while he was on duty.

“Our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones. We are deeply saddened and in touch with the family, providing support. We are also extending our support to the investigating authorities to help find the culprits,” said an Ola spokesperson.

The company said it provided a life insurance cover of Rs 500,000 in addition to other benefits for the families of drivers. It said the benefits covered outstanding vehicle loans and children’s educational fees till class 10 in addition to the insurance cover. 

Sources said the company ran a call centre, where calls could be made in the case of emergencies.

Uber said once a trip was on, the in-app navigation on the driver partner’s app provided turn-by-turn directions. 

“Since the GPS data is logged for every trip, Uber also has access to this information while the ride is in progress. This promotes accountability while adding another layer of security to the ride,” its spokesperson said. Last year, the firm launched the ‘Share Trip’ feature for driver partners, which allows them to share the details of the trip with anyone they choose. The driver partner can also see the first name and rating of the rider before the trip.

“We take the driver feedback seriously, and constantly review the ratings given to riders by driver partners. Riders reported to have violated our terms of service and/or Community Guidelines may be prevented from accessing the Uber App,” Uber said. 

Ola said it blacklisted riders who misbehaved with the driver. To ensure a rapid response during a crisis, Uber also has incident-response teams round the clock.

“We have launched an insurance programme in partnership with ICICI Lombard. The policy provides driver partners (age 18 to 65) of four-wheelers free coverage for accidental death and disablement, hospitalisation, and outpatient medical treatment in the case of an accident while they are online on the Uber App,” it said.

However, there have been incidents in which cab drivers of both aggregators were either killed or injured. Drivers have been constantly demanding better verifications of riders to avoid such incidents.

“We have been carjacked, and riders do not pay and get into fights with us. When we take these complaints to the cab companies they do not do anything. They take all types of identification papers from us but not a single shred of paper from riders. We want them to do a full KYC of riders,” said SP Soni, general secretary, Sarvodaya Driver Association.

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