Two Ola cabs and a media van were damaged allegedly by the cabbies and auto drivers who staged a protest against taxi aggregators over their pricing model in South Mumbai on Tuesday.
Police have detained seven persons on charges of rioting following the incident.
“While coming out of the protest site at Azad Maidan, the agitators vandalised one or two Ola cabs and a press vehicle,” said a senior officer attached to Azad Maidan police station.
The protest was staged at Azad Maidan by newly-formed “Jai Bhagwan Taxi Rickshaw Sanghatana” seeking an inquiry and action against the app-based taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola over their pricing strategy to attract customers. Scores of cabbies and auto drivers participated in the protest.
Addressing the gathering, Sanghatna president Bala Sanap said, “We are forced to gather here to raise our voice against the cab aggregators Ola and Uber. We want to know how they offer services at just Rs. 6 per km when the fixed rate is Rs 8. per km for taxis.”
Alleging that the government is in collusion with cab aggregators, he said, “We feel there is a conspiracy to take our taxis and rickshaws off roads. But we will not let this happen whatever it may take.”
Sanap threatened to take taxis off roads from July 26 if the government failed to order an inquiry against the cab aggregators.
“We have written a letter to chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) and have urged him that services of Uber and Ola be treated at par with taxis,” he added.
However, one of the largest unions in city, the Mumbai Taximen’s Union, did not participate in the protest.