The Lucknow Police is yet to arrest the woman who publically and resoundingly slapped a cab driver a record 22 times following an altercation at a busy traffic intersection in the city. An FIR though has been registered against her.
The woman, Priyadarshini Narayan Yadav, has accused the taxi driver, Saadat Ali Siddiqui, of trying to run her over. Both have now filed counter complaints against each other.
The incident took place on Friday evening at the Krishna Nagar locality in the Uttar Pradesh capital.
Asked if it was for publicity, Ms Yadav shot back asking if she is not allowed to defend herself.
“Kam Pade hain, jyada padne chahiye the (They were too few, he deserved more). If police had done its work, I would not have had to do it…They’ll hit and run away, Self defence nahi karenge (Will I not defend myself). Is our life cheap? The police will get a postmortem done and send the body home. Who will be at a loss,” Ms Yadav, who is accused of such acts in the past, hit back in an interview to NDTV.
Mr Siddiqui, who spent 28 hours in jail post the incident, wants to know why the police have not been able to arrest Ms Yadav. The cab driver’s brother who got to know about the incident and went to meet him at the police station was also locked up with him, he alleges.
“You’ll run over a woman?” she is heard asking in the video while continuing with the assault even as Mr Siddiqui seeks onlookers’ help to call the police. He said she had damaged his mobile phone. “Who will pay for that? It is my employer’s phone. I’m a poor man…it cost ₹ 25,000,” he is heard saying.
Ms Yadav claims that she has faced attacks in the past, adding that the police are aware of it.
“They [police] have visited my place too. The police have my telephone number, details of my family members. The charges are baseless,” she said, accusing police of harassing her family members and having visited her place in the past without a warrant or report.
The incident captured on a CCTV shows the woman first crossing the road in a risky manner, wading through the passing vehicles.
It must be noted here that most vehicles shown in the concerned segment of the video were jumping the red signal as the woman walked over the pedestrian crossing.
Moments later she approaches Mr Siddiqui and begins her assault even before he got out. She is seen picking up something from the road and flinging it at the car before going back to take another swing. Meanwhile, the slaps keep coming.
Next, she rips away the rear-view mirrors of the car on both sides
Mr Siddiqui claims Ms Yadav also snatched ₹ 600 from his pocket and points to the video footage saying he did not violate any traffic rules.
“I was slapped 22-23 times, have lost my self-respect, I cannot look people in the eyes. They are asking questions. I have not stepped out of my house. I am an Ola driver, only I know how I am managing my expenses,” Mr Siddique told NDTV.
Mr Siddqui says he wants justice, asking why the woman has not been arrested when the police took no time to put him in jail.