An auto driver in Mumbai insulted a lady by calling her fat and asking her to get off from his auto as the auto was slowing down because of her weight.
The incident took place last week, when Asmi Shah (30), a travel agent by profession, took an auto from her residence in Santacruz to her office in Juhu. After a few metres, he asked Asmi to sit in the middle of the seat rather on the side but when she asked the auto driver to stop as she needed to pick her mother, the driver rudely asked whether the person whom she was picking was “as fat as” her.
In the words of Asmi, “He started the auto and after we had travelled a few metres, he asked me to sit in the middle of the seat instead of the corner. I obliged. Since I had to pick up my mother on the way, I asked him to stop at a point. He then asked me if the person who I was picking up was as fat as me. I was shocked and told him not to be so rude and mind his language. He then told me that “main mote logon ko apne auto mein nahi bithata (I don’t let fat people sit in my auto) I was stunned by his behaviour.”
This shocked and agonized Asmi and she refused to get off the auto as she needed to reach on time for a meeting but then the auto driver stopped and asked her to get down. This is what Asmi told, “I threatened to report him to the police to which he told me to do whatever I want. I got down and tried to take his picture but he drove away. However, I managed to take a photo of his number plate.”
The lady is pretty determined to teach the auto driver a lesson of his life and she has filed a complaint, both with the traffic police as well as the local police. She stated, “I have also tweeted about the incident to the Mumbai Police’s Twitter handle. In response they asked me to contact the traffic police so that the errant auto driver can be traced and fined for his behaviour. They then informed me that the traffic police could only fine him for not plying a passenger, but if I go to the local police they could at least book him under some offence.”
Asmi has visited the Santacruz police station and told the officer on duty about the incident in detail. He has assured her to take an action but she hasn’t heard anything from their side till now.
According to Sunil Paraskar, Additional CP (traffic), “No auto driver or cabbie has any right to refuse passengers based on their personal appearance. We are looking into it and action will be taken against the errant auto driver.”
Asmi reiterated her decision to teach the driver a lesson, “It’s not that I want to see him punished but this discrimination has to stop. Today he said no to me as I was fat. Tomorrow it could be someone else. He can’t go on insulting people like this. I just want to teach him a lesson.”
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