A day after, Uber driver took poet-activist to police station for talking about anti-CAA protest, Mumbai police on Thursday said that they recorded statements of both but found nothing suspicious so let both go.
Mumbai Police told the news agency ANI: "An Uber driver y'day took a passenger to Santacruz Police station and said that passenger is an anti-national as he was talking about Shaheen Bagh kind of protests and other incidents in Mumbai.Police recorded statements of both but found nothing suspicious so let both go."
The 23-year-old poet, Bappadittya Sarkar, a resident of Jaipur, who had arrived in Mumbai on February 3 for a poetry reading session at the Kala Ghoda Festival, had taken part in the ongoing anti-CAA-NRC protest at Nagpada in Mumbai. He took the Uber cab from Juhu to Kurla around 10.30 pm on Wednesday.
During the journey, Sarkar was discussing with his friend on mobile phone people's discomfort with 'Laal Salaam' slogan at Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi. The driver, who was listening, stopped the cab and told Sarkar he wanted to withdraw money from ATM. But he returned with two policemen, who allegedly asked Sarkar why he was carrying a 'dafli' (a percussion instrument), and also asked him his address.
The driver allegedly asked the police to take Sarkar in custody for "he was saying he was a Communist and was talking about burning the country". After the incident, Sarkar told PTI that the driver's aggressive behaviour and violent language reflected the atmosphere prevailing in the country. Talking to PTI on Friday, Sarkar said, "The behaviour of the driver was aggressive and his language was violent. This type of violent language symbolises whatever is going on in the country."
"The driver threatened me that he could have taken me somewhere else, but took me to a police station. I was scared due to his threat. But the driver must have some foundation for giving threat," he said.
Sarkar, who was at the 'Mumbai Bagh' protest in Nagpada on Friday morning, said he will return to his hometown, Jaipur, in the afternoon, where he will take part in similar protests. "I will go to Jaipur first and meet my family members as they may also be worried (after the incident). After that I will participate in the protests," he said.