Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatraya and Telangana Home and Labour Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy have agreed to intervene into the case of suicide committed by Uber driver Mohammed Zaheeruddin to ensure that all drivers are protected from harassment and exploitation by the aggregators and other employers.
Led by its president Syed Nizamuddin, a delegation of Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) on Friday called on the Union Labour Minister at his residence and apprised him about the suicide committed by driver Zaheeruddin on November 17 at his residence in Golnaka in Amberpet Police Station limits. They told the minister that Zaheeruddin’s suicide was not for routine causes and Uber management was directly responsible for his death.
“We have lodged several complaints stating that thousands of drivers, working with aggregators like Uber and Ola, were being cheated. They were lured into a trap by Uber and Ola managements with the promises of monthly income of over Rs. 70,000 and other incentives. Believing their promises, many poor drivers purchased new cars by taking huge loans on heavy interest amounts. However, after making promised payments for a while, the Uber and Ola managements reduced the commissions, incentives and booking, thereby pushing the drivers into huge crisis,” the TSCBOA leader said in its representation.
Syed Nizmauddin informed Dattatraya that Zaheeruddin had purchased a new Indica car (TS15 UA2548) on finance in January this year. However, he fell into financial crisis after Uber management stopped giving promised business. He was unable to pay the EMIs as well as interest for the amount which he borrowed to make down payment. This completely shattered his personal life. The financial problems forced him to agree to sell a land owned by the family. However, the Uber management is trying to contend that he committed suicide due to land dispute as Zaheeruddin was actively participating in the agitation, he said.
The TSCBOA leader said that the Uber management was trying to distort fact to hush up the case. “When Zaheeruddin did not leave any suicide note, how did the Uber management came to a conclusion that the cause of suicide was land dispute? We would like to reiterate that the land dispute, if any, was due to the financial problems created due to dishonouring of promise made by the Uber. The basic facts were not taken into consideration that Zaheeruddin was under immense pressure from the financiers from whom he borrowed money to buy new car to get it engaged with the Uber,” Syed Nizamuddin said while demanding an enquiry into the real causes of suicide.
The Association made four major demands. They include enquiry into the suicide of Zaheeruddin; Adequate compensation to his family; Enquiry into the allegations of cheating against Uber and Ola managements; Formation of Rules/Regulations for aggregators and a mechanism to protect the interest of nearly 50,000 drivers working in the Greater Hyderabad limits.
Dattatraya gave a patient hearing to the TSCBOA leaders and assured to enquire into the matter.
Later, the TSCBOA leaders called on the Telangana Home Minister at Ministers’ Quarters. After hearing the issue, Nayani forwarded the complaint to DCP East Zone Mr. V. Ravinder asking him to probe into the matter. He also assured that the State Government would take immediate steps to protect the interest of all drivers working with different cab operators, especially the aggregators. (INN)