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Ola yet to plug policy gap that helped doctor's kidnappers

By Nikhil M. Babu
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Fourteen days after an Ola cab driver kidnapped a 29-year-old Delhi doctor, the cab service provider company is yet to fix a policy loophole that favoured the kidnappers.

Sreekanth, 29, was kidnapped on July 6 from outside Preet Vihar Metro Station in east Delhi by an Ola cab driver, whose documents were not physically verified.

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Singh Yadav said that the accused driver used fake documents to register as an Ola cab driver and he exploited a policy loophole for this.

Another factor that apparently went in favour of the accused was the time taken in verification of documents submitted by the prospective drivers.

“It takes two-three days for the documents submitted to be verified and this point was exploited by the kidnappers,” the officer said.

When asked about the procedural changes in registering a driver with the company in the wake of the kidnapping incident, Corporate President of Ola Joy Bandekar told IANS that they were yet to change their policies and that they are reviewing them.

“We’ve stopped accepting any new documents from drivers and are reviewing the policies,” Bandekar said.

Yadav said that the kidnappers were targeting Ola and not Sreekanth and added that “it could have been just anyone”.

When asked whether police had taken any action against Ola, as other passengers could also be targeted, the officer said: “We have not taken any action… Our focus was on saving the doctor. But we’ll be looking into their policies.”

“There should be physical verification while registering a driver with Ola, but one vendor (of Ola) agreed to register the accused driver without it,” he said.

Yadav said that the insurance, permit licence, Aadhaar card, PAN and bank account number submitted by the accused driver turned out to be fake when police started investigating the kidnapping. “It turned out to be a blind case when we started investigating,” he added.

In fact, the accused driver tried getting associated with Ola just to commit the crime, as the kidnapped doctor was his first customer, he added.

The driver of the Ola cab that Sreekanth boarded on July 6 night kidnapped him with the help of his friends who were waiting at a distance.

On July 7 morning, they called up the Bengaluru office of Ola and demanded a ransom of Rs five crore for his release and threatened to kill Sreekanth if the money was not delivered.

(Nikhil M. Babu can be reached at [email protected])

Post Source: Ians feed

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