Rogue taxi drivers spare none in Bengal


Taxi association general secretary has first-hand experience

In the wake of several incidents of rogue taxi drivers assaulting passengers in the city, Bengal Taxi Association general secretary Bimal Guha on Friday tried to take stock of the situation and got a first-hand experience of passengers’ predicament. He lodged an FIR with the Beniapukur Police Station here on Saturday after he got a fake bill from an errant taxi driver.

The Bengal Taxi Association is one of the largest taxi unions in the State.

“I went out on Friday to see for myself why so many cases of taxi drivers assaulting passengers are taking place. I hired cabs while going from Park Circus to Lancedowne and back,” Mr. Guha told The Hindu. When he boarded a taxi at Park Circus at 3 p.m. to go to Lancedowne, the driver refused to give him a bill. “As I persisted, he told me that he has no licence and whenever police apprehend him, he escapes by paying them Rs.100,” he said. Mr. Guha admitted that there are “many taxi drivers in the city drive without licence.”

There were more surprises in store for him. At around 7 p.m. when he boarded a taxi from Lancedowne to return to Park Circus, the driver refused to give him a bill. When he insisted on one, the driver called him a “worthless fellow, creating unnecessary trouble by asking for a bill.” Mr. Guha said he was “appalled by the driver’s behaviour and after much persuasion he gave me a bill, which turned out to be fake as it did not have the number of the taxi.” The main reason he insisted on a bill was that he wanted to lodge a “complaint against the driver for his offensive behaviour.” By the time he realised that the bill was fake the driver was long gone. “So, I lodged an FIR against an unknown person,” he added.

Mr. Guha did not reveal his identity to the taxi drivers. He accused the police of being “hand in glove with rogue taxi drivers and taking bribes from them.” He said he will soon go out again to observe the situation.

Earlier this week, a Delhi-based IT professional Chandan Chatterjee and his friend were thrashed by a taxi driver and his associate after refusing to go to the chosen destination. Recently, a woman allegedly molested by a taxi driver, who too refused to go her desired destination.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 3:23:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/rogue-taxi-drivers-spare-none-in-bengal/article6230358.ece

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