Bappadittya Sarkar, a 23-year-old poet was taken to the police station by an Uber driver after he reportedly overheard Sarkar’s phone conversation on CAA protests.
Sarkar was in Mumbai for an event and had hired an Uber cab from Juhu Silver Beach to Kurla, at 11 PM on Wednesday, 5th February. After getting into the vehicle he called up a friend in Jaipur and started talking about anti-CAA protests in different cities.
This is when the driver took the vehicle to the Santa Cruz police station, got down to withdraw money from ATM and returned with two police officers.
He explained the entire incident in a WhatsApp message, screenshots of which are going viral on social media.
Last night, poet @Bappadittoh had a scary episode in Mumbai, at the hands of an @Uber driver and @MumbaiPolice cops (see screenshots): a glimpse of scary India under NPR NRC CAA, where every person will be incentivised to suspect & turn in others & police can harass everyone. pic.twitter.com/OOKUB58BxK— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) February 6, 2020
The driver had apparently recorded Sarkar’s conversation. In his statement to the police, he said:
Yeh desh jalane ki baat kar raha hai, bol raha hai main communist hoon, hum desh ko Shaheen Bagh bana denge, mere paas poori recording hai.
He got scared listening to all this.
Sarkar was questioned by the police about his work and ideology. After almost 2 hours of questioning, both of them were released by the police.
On release, the police asked him not to carry a dafli or wear a red scarf. They also warned him about the atmosphere these days.
Abhi mahaul kharab hai, kucch bhi ho sakta hai.
This is concerning. We’d like to address this on priority. Kindly share the registered details from which the trip was requested via Direct Message. A member from our safety team will get in touch with you at the earliest. https://t.co/1WqzzOmdKe— Uber India Support (@UberINSupport) February 6, 2020
Uber India also responded to the incident and assured that they will look into the matter at the earliest.