In a shocking incident that sent shockwaves through Karnataka’s capital city, Bengaluru, a 30-year-old Rapido bike-taxi driver, Manu BC, found himself in the grip of a horrifying ordeal on the night of August 29. He was kidnapped, assaulted, and robbed by an armed assailant, an experience that would test his courage and resilience in the face of danger.
The victim, Manu BC, a resident of JP Nagar Phase I, showed incredible strength by coming forward and filing a police complaint on September 1, detailing the harrowing events of that fateful night. His complaint alleged kidnapping, assault, and robbery, setting in motion a series of events that would eventually lead to the arrest of a 25-year-old man named Pawan.
Manu’s night began like any other as he accepted a ride booking from Hosakerehalli Cross to Peenya. Little did he know that this seemingly routine trip would turn into a life-changing ordeal. While en route to the pickup point, Manu received a call from the customer, who informed him of his proximity to the Hosakerehalli skywalk.
Manu, who was at Ittamadu at the time, promptly communicated his location to the customer and arrived at the specified spot around 12:10 AM. Subsequently, the customer informed Manu that a friend would be taking the ride instead and compensated him with Rs 100 through a digital payment application for the cancellation.
This was the moment when the situation took a terrifying turn. The customer’s associate, identified as Pawan, boarded Manu’s two-wheeler and brandished a knife, threatening him. Pawan directed Manu to remain silent and follow his instructions, instilling fear and confusion in the driver.
Feeling cornered and terrified, Manu had no choice but to comply with Pawan’s demands. He followed the directions given by Pawan, and they ended up in a slum located in Laggere at around 12:45 AM.
It was at this point that Manu’s nightmare continued to unfold. Several slum residents witnessed Pawan forcibly guiding Manu into a room, holding him at knifepoint, but no one dared to intervene, perhaps fearing for their safety as well.
As per Manu’s chilling account, he was subjected to further threats and coercion inside the room. The assailant demanded money from him, unaware of the financial constraints Manu faced. Manu explained, “I informed him that I had only Rs 3,500 in cash. The accused proceeded to check my PhonePe balance, which also displayed Rs 3,500. He then instructed me to borrow money from my friends. Given the late hour, my friends did not respond to my calls.”
Desperation and fear continued to grip Manu as the assailant discovered an ATM card in his possession. Pawan, relentless in his pursuit of ill-gotten gains, took Manu to an ATM machine and forced him to withdraw Rs 7,500, further adding to the psychological and emotional trauma inflicted upon Manu.
Throughout this horrific ordeal, Manu’s survival instincts and resilience played a crucial role. He managed to escape from his captor, recounting the terrifying attack with an iron rod by Pawan. Manu’s escape would eventually lead to the apprehension of the perpetrator and bring some semblance of justice to the situation.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Girinagar police took swift action by arresting Pawan, the 25-year-old man responsible for Manu’s abduction, assault, and robbery. However, their work was not done, as they continued to diligently pursue Pawan’s accomplice, ensuring that both individuals would be held accountable for their actions.
Manu BC’s story serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by individuals working in the gig economy, such as bike-taxi drivers, who often find themselves in situations where their safety is compromised. Despite the odds stacked against him, Manu’s bravery in coming forward, filing a complaint, and cooperating with the authorities not only ensured the arrest of one perpetrator but also shed light on the importance of community safety and support.
The incident also highlights the need for greater awareness and measures to protect the safety of those who work in similar professions. The authorities must work to create a safer environment for gig economy workers, ensuring that they can perform their jobs without the constant threat of violence or exploitation.
Manu BC’s survival and resilience in the face of unimaginable danger is a testament to the human spirit’s strength. His story serves as a rallying cry for communities to stand together against crime, support victims, and demand justice for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals. In the darkness of that August night, Manu BC’s courage shone brightly, illuminating the path towards a safer and more compassionate society for all.