The driver was suspended for “up to 72 hours” after Uber set up an inquiry into the incident, according to Hindustan Times.
“High-quality service is something we strive for every day. Following our internal review and to meet our standards, we enrolled the driver for re-sensitisation of our policies and community guidelines,” an Uber spokesperson told HuffPost India over email.
These classes are mandatory for drivers to attend before they begin working for Uber, according to the Hindustan Times report. In light of the incident with Sarkar, the driver has been asked to attend this programme again.
Talking to HuffPost India over the phone last week, Sarkar had said that he had taken an Uber from Mumbai’s Juhu and was speaking to a friend over the phone about Shaheen Bagh, “people’s discomfort with laal salaam” and how protests against in different cities are different.
About 20 minutes into the ride, he said his driver had stopped the car and asked him if he could go to an ATM. It was only when the driver came back with two police officers that Sarkar realised he had actually been brought to a police station.
The driver, the poet said, had asked the police to arrest him. “Ye communist hai. Ye desh jalaane ki baat kar rha tha. Aap isko andar daalo (He’s a communist. He was talking about burning the country. You arrest him),” the driver told the police, according to Sarkar.
Sarkar said that the driver claimed to have a recording of Sarkar’s conversation with his friend. He played the recording to the police officials, who, Sarkar said, did not find anything “inciting”.
The police still questioned Sarkar. They asked him about his ideology, to name a few countries with communist establishments and what kind of literature he reads. They also asked him who was funding him and questions about his father’s income.