A gang of kidnappers, which included an Ola driver, held a doctor hostage and demanded INR 5 crores as ransom – not from the doctor, but from Ola Cabs, which is one of the leading taxi aggregator app based service provider.
Dr. Srikanth Goud, attached to a private hospital in Delhi booked an Ola cab on the night of July 6, after ending his evening shift. The cab was booked to drop him at South Delhi but instead the driver drove the car on to Dadri near Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The driver of the Ola was part of a gang of kidnappers and he was soon joined by the other members who abducted Goud.
A ransom call was made to Ola call center with a ransom demand for INR 5 crores while another call was made to the hospital where Goud was employed. Calls were made from various phone numbers and by using assorted SIM cards so as to avoid being traced. Videos of the abducted doctor were also taken and sent to his family in Hyderabad.
Ola informed the police of these calls and abduction and investigations revealed a fake license and forged documents supplied by the Ola driver. Sunday, 16th July 2017. saw the cops zero in on the gang and a shootout ensued between the UP Police, STF and Delhi Police and the gang of abductors.
However, despite best efforts, the gang managed to give the police a slip and escape along with Goud. They were later traced at Haridwar but the gang fled from there as well only to be finally nabbed at Muzaffarnagar. The four suspects have been caught and the doctor, Mr Goud rescued.
This incident puts a huge question mark over the safety of passengers who use taxi services like Uber and Ola. Yes, most drivers enrolled, do a fantastic job, which is why millions of us use their services. But, there are incidents being reported time and again, which puts users in harm’s way. We hope they toughen the screening process, and also continue to keep an eye on drivers against whom complaints are registered.