On Wednesday, a Zomato customer uploaded a video on social media accusing a Zomato delivery agent of physically intimidating and attacking her. The next day, the delivery boy refuted the claims and said that the customer had accidentally hit herself. Here’s a look at how the events played out from the perspectives of the accused and the complainant.
1. Hitesha Chandranee had placed an order on Zomato, on Wednesday afternoon. The order arrived later than was expected due to which she had contacted customer support in an attempt to cancel it.
2. The delivery executive, Kamaraj, said that he apologized for the delay in delivery, citing heavy traffic and road works on his route. According to him, the customer took the food and refused to pay for the order even though he pleaded with her to do so for fear of losing his payment for that delivery.
3. Hitesha said that Kamaraj was excessively rude and refused to leave without the order. She said he pushed on her door and started yelling at her asking if he was her slave. He apparently then snatched the parcel from her, hit her on the nose, and ran away from the building.
4. She uploaded a video on Instagram and Twitter in which she tearfully narrated her side of the incident. The video shows her with a bleeding cut on her nose, an injury that Kamaraj allegedly inflicted. Kamaraj, however, narrates the sequence of events somewhat differently.
5. He said that after she refused to return the food, he decided to leave the building. It was then that the customer started hurling Hindi expletives at him and throwing slippers at him. When he attempted to shield himself from her attacks, she tried to push his hand away and ended up hitting herself on the nose with her ring.
6. He also said that he had asked her to treat him with respect as he was not her slave, to which she retaliated by asking “What will you do?”. There is no CCTV footage from the apartment building so neither of their claims can be proved or disproved as of now.
7. The customer’s video went viral and Kamaraj was arrested immediately and booked under IPC sections 325 and 504 for intentionally causing injury and attempt to breach peace by insults. He was released on bail on the same day.
8. Kamaraj contacted Zomato headquarters and shared his side of the ordeal. He also said that it was clear that the injury on her nose was not caused by a punch, rather, it was from a sharp object i.e., her ring.
9. In a statement released by Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato, the company is assisting the police with the investigations on both parties. He also stated that Kamaraj has a very high rating on the platform (4.75/5 stars), having made over 5000 deliveries in his 2 years of service. The delivery agent has been temporarily suspended but his earnings are being covered in the interim. Zomato is currently offering support to both, Hitesha and Kamaraj, for medical and legal procedures.
10. Social media users expressed concern over the safety of female customers and called for immediate action and investigation into the alleged attack. Zomato apologized for the unfortunate incident and promised to investigate the matter thoroughly and ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future.