Taxi services affected after driver sets himself ablaze at Bengaluru airport

Taxi-driver Pratap Gowda succumbed to the 90 per cent burn injuries at the city’s Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru Northeast division DCP CK Baba said.

Bengaluru: A 35-year-old taxi driver on Tuesday evening attempted self-immolation near passenger pick-up area of Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, police said.

Taxi-driver Pratap Gowda succumbed to the 90 per cent burn injuries at the city’s Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru Northeast division DCP CK Baba said.

The driver, who hails from Ramanagara district, had locked himself in his car before pouring petrol over himself and lighting a match.

“After primary investigation, we have got to know that he was in financial trouble unable to pay back loans for his car attached to KSTDC,” a police officer told Indian Express.

Meanwhile, taxi services at the airport remained affected after the incident. After the incident, drivers gathered in front of Bengaluru airport to protest discounted fares offered by private online cab aggregators.

The Kempegowda International Airport on Tuesday had issued an advisory and asked passengers to use the BMTC bus service for travel to and from BLR Airport or make their own travel arrangements.

Even cab driver unions decided to stay off roads on Wednesday, with state’s Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association leading protests across city.

“It is unfortunate that we have started to lose our own people to the unprecedented rise in fuel prices and inflation. Striking a balance to get enough money for a living has been a challenge since (coronavirus-induced) lockdown hit us last year but we have hardly recovered since then,” the union’s president Tanveer Pasha told Indian Express.

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