A Mumbai-based journalist, Ushnota Paul was verbally abused and physically assaulted by a woman in an Uber pool today morning for intervening in her argument with the cab driver and stopping her from bullying him. Paul hired an Uber pool from her house in Dadar to her office in Lower Parel at around 10.15 am. When she entered the cab there was a woman already sitting in the backseat of the SUV and she sat alongside her.

Paul started a Twitter thread about this incident and posted pictures of her scars along with them. People have expressed shock at the incident and the Mumbai Police has also tweeted to her saying that they are following up on the case.

“I got a hostile vibe right from the start of the ride as I asked her if I could pull up the hand rest to keep my bag and she rolled her eyes ,but I didn’t give much thought to it,” said Paul to SheThePeople.TV. The woman had allegedly taken the cab from Bandra and wanted to go to Lower Parel where her office was, then after Paul joined pool there was one more woman who entered the cab and her drop was before this other woman who was sitting with Paul, she said.

“The fact that the other girl’s drop came before her got her mad and she started scolding the driver for it. She said things like I am paying the most amount and yet my drop is after her to which the driver calmly tried to make her understand that Uber pool has certain protocol and he will have to drop whoever’s destination is first on the way. But she just wasn’t listening to him. After 10 minutes of hearing her, I finally intervened and said that he was just doing his job. Then she came at me by asking me why I am talking between both of them. I asked her how she can be sure if she is paying the highest amount as no one can know others’ payments. I didn’t make a big deal out of it because these things happen in cab pooling,” Paul told us.

My hair was all over the car. I have got a scar on my forehead as I bled, and as I defended myself and tried to grab her, but she had a bigger body frame so I couldn’t succeed and I have scars on my hands too.

The verbal spat went on for some time, during which Paul stopped reacting to her provocations.  She reportedly called her a prostitute, slut, etc. but Paul lost it when the woman started with racial slurs and called her “Chinky”(An illegal word in the country and no one should use the word as it is derogatory).

The verbal abuse turned into physical assault as she grabbed Paul by the hair and hit her. “My hair was all over the car. I have got a scar on my forehead as I bled, and as I defended myself and tried to grab her, but she had a bigger body frame so I couldn’t succeed and I have scars on my hands too.”

By the time the attack happened her destination at Urmi estate had arrived and she got off and left for her office. But she didn’t want to let go of this situation, so she took the driver along with her to the Lower Parel police station to file a complaint against the accused woman, said Paul.

“The police was very cooperative and have started an investigation. I just want that we can at least get hold of the woman as the driver has given her address from where he had picked her to the police. What is suspicious is that she has not registered on the Uber app with her real name, but just the letter ‘R’,” she added.

Uber has only registered the complaint but hasn’t taken any action as yet. In fact, Paul told us that when the police spoke to Uber’s customer support, they refused to divulge information about her.

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