Another driver working for popular ride-hailing service Careem in the twin cities was attacked late Sunday when he put up resistance to an armed robbery, police said.

Rizwan Niazi, who hails from Mianwali, was attacked with a sharp object by one of two motorcycle-riding muggers, who made away with Rs18,000 in cash that the cab 'captain' was carrying.

A picture of the injured cab driver.— Photo by author
A picture of the injured cab driver.— Photo by author

Niazi told DawnNews that he was heading home after turning off the ride-hailing app on Sunday night when two masked men riding a motorcycle asked him to pull up near Rawalpindi's Saddar Metro station. Thinking they were asking for directions, Niazi stopped his car.

The robbers then asked Niazi to step out of the car at gunpoint and searched his pockets before looting Rs18,000 cash that was on him.

Fearing that one of the assailants would open fire after seeing a car approach the scene, Niazi said he grasped the gun that the robber was carrying. At this, the robber attacked the driver with a sharp-edged object, that left his face injured and bloodied.

Niazi then let go of the gun and the two robbers fled with the cash on their motorcycle, which did not bear a number plate. The driver had thrown his two phones in the back of the car, which the robbers were unable to take away.

The injured captain, who has been driving for Careem for nearly three months, claimed that is a worker of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) Mianwali chapter and was once part of PTI chief Imran Khan's security detail.

Police PRO Imran Kazmi told DawnNews that the city police officer (CPO) of Rawalpindi has taken notice of the incident and directed DSP Civil Lines to register a first information report and make efforts to arrest the culprits within 48 hours.

The incident comes less than three days after another Careem captain was shot dead during a robbery in Islamabad. Police on Sunday said they had arrested a man for his alleged involvement in the murder.

After the incident on Friday, Careem drivers had staged a protest at F-9 park, where they demanded enhanced security for cab drivers.

Careem forms 'safety committees'

In a statement emailed to Dawn.com after the latest incident, Careem said its officials are in touch with captain Rizwan Niazi and "providing all necessary support to him and his family".

Careem's team also met Islamabad Deputy Commissioner retired Captain Mushtaq Ahmed and SSP (operations) Najeeb-ur-Rehman Bugvi to apprise them of these matters.

According to the statement, Careem has set up Safety and Security Committees in all its offices. The first meeting of one of these committees — comprising captains, travellers and law enforcement personnel — was held today to come up with ideas and strategies to prevent similar incidents in future.

"Recommendations from the safety committee will be shared with police authorities for implementation," the statement added.

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