A woman who took an Uber car ride in Hyderabad on Thursday alleged in a Facebook post that her driver masturbated while she was in the car. “Today my #Uber driver thought it perfectly normal to masturbate while dropping me to the airport. As soon as we were on the relatively empty ORR in #Hyderabad, he slowed the car to about a 50 kmph and kept glancing back in the rearview mirror,” wrote Uma Sharma on October 19. She added in her post that her driver only stopped the car after she kept screaming at him.
Originally from Delhi, Ms Sharma, 25, only recently moved to Hyderabad.
In a post widely-shared on Facebook, she detailed what happened and attached a screenshot from the Uber app.
You can read her full post below:
Today my #Uber driver thought it perfectly normal to masturbate while dropping me to the airport. As soon as we were on the relatively empty ORR in #Hyderabad, he slowed the car to about a 50 kmph and kept glancing back in the rearview mirror. After about 5mins when I realized what he was doing, I shouted and asked him to stop the car – unfazed, and continuing his act, he very nonchalantly asked me what was wrong. After much screaming, he reluctantly stopped the car, and continued standing on the road until I took a picture of him and threatened to go to the cops.
I was scared- as an alone woman in a still-unfamiliar city. Scared of what else he may do since I’d threatened him. Scared that he may return while I waited on the road for another cab. Scared at how utterly powerless I felt when he blankly looked at me, without an ounce of guilt on his face. And most of all, scared that this was probably not the first time he’d done this- yet he was still out there, just a matter of time until he did the same, or God forbid, did worse with some other woman.
Two days back I was hopeful as I, along with hundreds of other women I know, chose to speak about the sexual harassment we’ve faced. Anger aside, there was also an odd sense of unity in watching so many women #stopthesilence after years and courageously come forward with their stories. Today, I shudder to think how many of these #metoo statuses were because of the same vile men who repeated their actions – only because we were too scared to speak up.
So today, I choose to speak up and I won’t stop until #UberIndia takes responsibility for their non-existent driver verification and complete disregard for their passengers safety. I’m also taking this up with the cops to initiate action against this worthless excuse of a man.
#Reshare if you’ve ever been in the same situation, known anyone who’s faced the same; If you’re as sick as I am of the supposed normalcy of these things. Re-share so that more women read this and maybe find the courage to speak up the next time they’re such a situation too. #nomore #yesallwomen
Here is the Facebook post she wrote:
In a subsequent post, about 13 hours before writing this, Ms Sharma wrote that Delhi Police did not file an FIR since the matter is outside their jurisdiction. “I have spoken to the ADCP (SHE Team – Cyberabad Police Commissionerate) who has assured me that they’ll file the report once I go back to Hyderabad next week,” she added.
Ms Sharma also wrote that Uber India confirmed that the driver had been fired, but offered no other updates.
“Uber’s response in terms of this incident has been pretty generic- they’ve fired the guy, apologized etc. But there’s no update on how they’re looking to solve for this,” she said to NDTV.
“The Uber app displayed the driver’s name only as B that day, which they confirmed needs to be fixed. The fact that their platform has no vehicle/driver info post the trip is also something to be looked at,” she added.
Only a few days ago, Internet star Mallika Dua had blasted Uber India along similar lines for their inadequate customer care.