MUMBAI: An Uber driver drove a 23-year-old Jaipur-based poet, Bappaditya Sarkar, who was in Mumbai for the ongoing Kala Ghoda Festival, to Santacruz police station on Wednesday night as he suspected him to be a “danger to the country”.
Police questioned both the driver and Sarkar, but did not initiate any further proceedings after finding no substance in the complaint. Santacruz senior inspector Shriram Koregaonkar declined to comment and said that no case had been registered.
Sarkar had hailed the cab at around 10.50pm from Silver Beach in Juhu to go to Kurla where he was staying with a friend.
“Twenty minutes into the ride, the driver, Rohit Singh, said that he needed to withdraw money from an ATM. He reappeared within a few minutes with two police officers. I figured later that he had parked outside Santacruz police station,” Sarkar told TOI on Thursday evening.
Sarkar, who had arrived in Mumbai on February 3 for a poetry reading session at the Kala Ghoda Festival, had also taken time out to participate in the ongoing protests at Mumbai Bagh, an anti-CAA gathering near Mumbai Central, inspired by Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
“I had been a part of the protests in Jaipur and wanted to do the same in Mumbai, but the taxi driver’s reaction had nothing to do with that,” said Sarkar, recounting his conversation on the phone with a friend in Jaipur during his cab ride that apparently led the driver to doubt his intentions.
(With inputs from Rachel Chitra in Bengaluru)


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