She called me ‘Chinky’, pulled my hair, scratched my face: Journalist recalls horrific Uber ride

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t a time when passengers being harassed by drivers while travelling in cabs is on the rise, a shocking incident of a woman allegedly physically assaulting another co-passenger has come to light.

Ushnota Paul, a Mumbai-based journalist, who was Uber-pooling with a woman while going from her home to work, wrote in her Facebook post, “I had the worst experience today (Monday) morning.”

Paul alleged that her assaulter, who was travelling to Urmi Estate in Lower Parel, was hostile from the beginning of the trip. She was yelling at the driver saying, “if she is paying the most then why is she getting dropped at last.” After this, Paul intervened but the woman verbally abused her.

She said that the woman started losing her cool when Paul began ignoring her. This angered her and she allegedly called Paul ‘Chinky’ and ‘Chinky S***’. When Paul told her that she was getting ‘racist’, the woman said, “haan toh? Kya Kar legi? (So, what can you do?)”


After this, Paul tried to click her picture but the woman then snatched her phone and said she would break it if she does it again. “I know she would’ve so I didn’t try clicking anymore,” Paul’s Facebook Post read.

Before getting down from the cab, she allegedly grabbed Paul by her hair, tore off clumps of it and scratched her face.

“I tried to defend myself with both hands trying to protect my face & I got huge scratches there too. I started crying & she hopped off the cab & went inside Urmi estate. A crowd gathered. The guard of Urmi estate came to my rescue & asked me to file a police complaint immediately. I was too shocked & was crying hysterically so it didn’t even occur to me that this woman has ran away inside her office building. Went to LP police station & filed an official FIR. Mumbai Police was very supportive,” the post read.

The cabbie was with Paul throughout and even gave his statement to the police.

“I really hope the woman gets traced. I have to go to the doctor now to get myself bandaged and get a tetanus injection,” Paul told DB Post.

On the other hand, Uber refused to share her assaulter’s details stating “customer privacy”. Even after the police called Uber, they said they could not share the details.

“I have been physically & verbally assaulted in broad daylight by a complete stranger. The whole back seat of Uber is full of clumps of my hair, I have injury on my face & hands & I’m definitely psychologically scarred. I take Uber twice every day & yet I know now that I am not safe. Uber won’t do anything when it comes to my safety. If they don’t respect what the Mumbai Police are saying to them, I am a mere civilian and definitely I am not safe. Mumbai police said a lot of women do not file official complaints even though they face harassment, but I am not going to back down. This wasn’t my fault. We, as women, should defend ourselves and stand up for what is right. I have a copy of the original FIR and I will not back down. Think twice before taking Uber. I am shaken and terrified with the whole experience right now. I. AM. DONE,” her post read.

After, Paul shared her status on social media, Uber responded saying, “Thank you for providing this information. Our team is currently working to resolve this issue and will be in touch shortly via email. We appreciate your patience while we review.”