December 16, 2018

Another Careem Captain shot dead, Captains launch protest against management policies

UPDATE:

Three people have been arrested in connection to the murder of Careem Captain Sajawal Ameer, The News International reported. 

The arrest came 40 hours after the incident took place.

ISLAMABAD: A Careem Captain has been murdered here in Rawalpindi on Monday.
According to information shared by reliable sources within Careem, the 22 year old captain named Sajawal Ameer, a resident of Bhakkar, was murdered during attempted car snatching on Monday night while he was on his way near Mirsal Road, Rawalpindi.

Exclusively talking to DRM, Careem captains revealed that Sajawal’s car was being snatched by three people near Mirsal Road. They first booked the ride from Dhok Sayadan and tried snatching the car near Mirsal road. Upon resistence from the captain, they shot him five times and killed him. Later as they were trying to speed away, the car stopped owing to tracker. Eventually, they had to leave the car and ran away.

The perpetrators of this attack could not be arrested till the time of writing this report. A case had been registered in Naseerabad Police Station and the investigation had been commenced.

On the other hand, Dawn News reported that the ride was picked up from Dewan-e-Khas banquet hall Rawalpindi and ambushed by unknown number of people near Lakho-a sparsely populated area. When the captain resisted car snatching, they shot him five times, injuring him fatally. They also took away his cash, mobile phones and car. However, the car stopped owing to tracker and was abandoned near Rawalpindi’s Chohar Chowk.

Recently, there has been a surge in attempted car snatching attempts against Careem captains. Earlier, on February 22, a Careem Captain named Junaid Mustafa was shot dead near G-11, Islamabad. Later, another Careem Captain averted attempted snatching near Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, Careem management issued a statement through its Facebook page, expressed sadness at this incident and ensured that the family of the deceased captain would be compensated.

Careem Captains launch protest after murder:

Captains have increasingly concerned about their safety in the midst of rising attacks against them. Angered by the murder, a number of Captains from twin cities forced Careem offices to shut down.

It has also been learned that Careem Captains are planning another protest in front of Islamabad Press Club at 1 PM on Wednesday March 14 (Today) to record their protest against Careem’s policies and put forth their list of demands. According to the copy of demands available with DRM, Captains have following demands:

-Drop off location for every customer be made compulsory

-If a captain could not entertain a ride owing to some issues, he should not be fined for cancelling ride.

-Customers should be verified through biometric system

-There should be a particular time to travel to far off places

-Record of customers travelling in far off areas should be readily available

-Careem helpline should be made toll free so that Captain could easily contact the management without any hassle.

-Contact information of at least one careem representative should be provided to the captain who could assist the captain in case of murder/robbery during ride.

Many captains blame the Careem Management for not doing enough to run the criminal checks against the customers registering themselves on Careem App. “When we came to Careem, they ran multiple checks and forced me to get a character certificate but I don’t think they are doing anything like that for Careem riders,” said one Careem captain.

“After the last murder, I stopped picking up rides after 9 PM but after the second murder, I feel like going offline after 6 PM,” said another perturbed captain.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Careem Management is also planning to carry out a rally in front of Press Club at 3PM along with Careem Captains. However, it is not clear whether Careem Captains would be joining the management in its rally or not.

In another Facebook post, Careem Management called upon “every member of Careem community” to join them for a “Peaceful gathering.” It is not clear if it is the same peaceful gathering organized near Islamabad Press Club or a being managed at at different venue.

Written by

Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.

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