Last weekend, a Japanese national taught the city – which is not the easiest place for foreigners to be in – a lesson on honesty and fair business practice.
The Japanese man, identified as Akira Shigeta, had arrived in India three weeks back to work at the ToYo Engineering company in Kanjurmarg. On Sunday, Shigeta had visited R-City Mall in Ghatkopar. Around 6 pm, he came out of the mall to take a rickshaw to his residence in Hiranandani Powai.
A few minutes after getting into the rickshaw, he noticed that the rickshaw’s meter wasn’t working. When he enquired about it in English, the driver’s rude response led to an argument between the two.
The driver allegedly asked Shigeta to fork $15 for the ride. When Shigeta asked why he would pay in dollars when he had Indian currency, the driver asked him for $50. After stating his new price, the driver sped up the rickshaw.
Shigeta feared that the rickshaw driver would take him to an isolated place and mug him. So, he decided to jump off. When the rickshaw reached the steep road near Kailash Complex, he saw an opening and jumped off.
In a bizarre twist, however, his Japanese sense of righteousness didn’t allow him to let the driver go empty handed. So, just before he made a run, he hurled a Rs 500 rupee note towards the driver.
Shigeta later went to Hiranandani Hospital to get his shoulder, which he had injured during the fall, checked. The doctors told him that he had sustained a fracture. When he informed his boss about the incident, he immediately called the cops and asked them to take his statement.
The Parksite police station have registered a case against the unidentified auto driver under sections 364A (kidnapping for ransom) and 384 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code. Since Shigeta could not take a note of the license plate number, the cops are checking CCTV footage of nearby shops to identify the driver.