Drivers of the private cab service have parked their vehicles in protest on Wednesday. — White Star
Drivers of the private cab service have parked their vehicles in protest on Wednesday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Drivers and management of Careem staged a protest on Wednesday in front of the National Press Club against the death of one of the cab service’s drivers in an armed robbery.

Sajawal Ameer, 22, was killed in Naseerabad Monday night. Just over two weeks ago, another driver of the same company, 26-year-old Junaid Mustafa, was also killed during an armed robbery in G-13/1.

Though they were staging the demonstration together, drivers and management officials of the cab services later started fighting amongst themselves.

During his speech, the company’s head of public affairs and government relations Sibtain Naqvi said the fine on drivers after the cancellation of rides has been waived, according to their demands and that their demand for the specification of the drop off location is also being considered.

Two drivers of the company were killed in armed robberies in just over two weeks

The drivers said the management has done nothing of the sort and lost their tempers. Many started shouting “liar, liar” and “shame, shame”.

The president of Captain and Vendor, a workers’ association of the cab service and management, Afzal Sorya climbed on the stage and started criticising the company management, saying all the firm’s policies are against the captains.

“The management is playing politics over the murders of the drivers as well,” he said, adding that the company had made their jobs difficult for drivers after the first killing and had changed the bonus structure as well so it is more difficult to achieve targets.

The introduction of the new GO Mini policy is also making it hard for the drivers to earn their livelihoods, he said.

He added that according to the agreement, the management can only take 20pc of the fare collected by the drivers and that in practice, the company takes up to 40pc.

Arguments between the drivers and management continued during the protest which ended when the head of the company’s public affairs and government relations, Sibtain Naqvi was hit with a bottle by one of the drivers.

In the meantime, a press conference was also held inside the press club, in which the company’s general manager north said two captains had been killed within the last 20 days and appealed to the police to ensure their security.

Staff Reporter from Rawalpindi adds: Police claimed to have arrested three criminals involved in the killing of a driver of a private cab service during a robbery attempt in Naseerabad on Monday night.

Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad bin Ashraf told Dawn that police have arrested three men involved in the killin g of Sajawal Ameer who worked for Careem part time.

The SSP did not reveal the names of three alleged murderers, however he claimed that the accused had confessed to killing the driver after he resisted their bid to snatch the vehicle.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2018