Days after a woman in Bengaluru accused a Zomato delivery man of assault, the CEO and co-founder of the food delivery app said the company is providing “all possible support” to both parties.
The company is in touch with Hitesha Chandranee [the alleged victim], “covering her medical expenses, and helping her with the proceeding”, Deepinder Goyal said. “We are also in touch with Kamaraj [the delivery executive], extending all possible support to make sure both sides of the story come to light and that due process is followed in the spirit of fairness.”
Zomato has temporarily suspended Kamaraj’s services, Goyal said, but the company is covering his earnings in the interim while the police investigate the case. “Also, for the record — Kamaraj has made 5,000 deliveries for us so far, and has a 4.75/5 star rating on our platform (which is one of the highest), and has been working with us for 26 months now. (These are facts, not opinions, or inferences),” Goyal’s statement read.
On Wednesday Chandranee alleged in a video, shared widely on social media, that she was “hit” and “left bleeding” by Kamaraj.
She said she had ordered food at 3.30pm and after waiting for an hour, she contacted customer care to either cancel the order or waive the charges. “I have full right to fight with customer support when I am paying. I kept saying either cancel my order or do me a favour and make it free,” Chandranee said.
She said the moment she asked Kamaraj if Zomato had told him anything about cancelling the order or waiving the charges, he was “very rude”. According to Chandranee, Kamaraj said: “‘Ma’am, I have no idea, please don’t waste my time. Give me my money and let me go.’”
Chandranee said she then told the customer care that Kamaraj was shouting at her. “He sounded very threatening to me,” she said.
She alleged that when he started shouting, she tried to shut the door and he pushed against it, saying: ”What are you doing?” He then came in, grabbed the order and left, she claimed.
“I told him you can’t do this. Then he punched me. It happened within two minutes. I couldn’t understand what was happening. He ran to the lift… I didn’t know my nose was bleeding. When I gathered myself, I went after him and stopped him. He hit me again and, as the lift wouldn’t shut, pushed me and ran down the stairs,” she said.
Kamaraj, however, denied attacking Chandranee and said it was she who beat him with a chappal and hurled abuse at him.
He admitted picking up the food and walking off. He said he had apologised to Chandranee and, after talking to Zomato, asked her to return the food, but she had refused.
“She started abusing me. There was a slipper stand near the door. She took a chappal and started beating me,” Kamaraj said. “I was shocked. For my own safety I hit her hand. She was wearing a ring. That ring hit her nose and that is how she got injured. I didn’t punch her… I was scared, so I left the place.”
Kamraj, who is currently out on bail, said she followed him and kept hitting him, forcing him to take the stairs and run to the third floor.