On the first day Kuldeep Thakur (50) began driving for taxi aggregator app Uber, he was shot dead by two teenaged passengers.
The fifty-year-old, sole breadwinner of his family of six, took up driving a month ago to save money for his elder daughter’s wedding scheduled for December. An excited Thakur wanted to make the wedding a memorable one in the neighbourhood where he lived in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi.
His nephew Jograj who works in a BPO knew Thakur was an excellent driver and advised him to move to Delhi. He told his uncle that as a driver with his own car for app-based taxi booking companies such as Ola and Uber, he could earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 a month.
“About one and a half month ago, my uncle bought a new Maruti Swift Dzire car and enrolled himself as a driver for Ola,” Jograj told HT. Police said he was a driver with Ola since March 11.
On Wednesday, he got a request via the Uber app at around 4 pm when he was in Mundka. The cab was booked by two teenagers, aged 16 and 17.
“The two boys sat in my uncle’s cab and made him drive around Mundka and Najafgarh for almost one and a half hour, without telling him where exactly they wanted to go,” said Jograj.
“When my uncle asked them why they were wasting their time, the boys became annoyed and lectured him on minding his own business,” said Jograj, adding that the boys shot his uncle dead for no reason.
An argument broke out between them when the boys started making fun of Thakur’s native place and he retaliated with jokes about their local addresses, said a police officer.
“One of the boys fired a bullet from behind that hit Thakur in his head and he died. The boy pumped two more bullets into his body,” the officer said.
Thakur is survived by his wife, three children and a parent.
“Uber officials provided us details about the person who last booked Thakur’s cab. It helped us trace the suspects,” the officer said.