Taxi driver suffers 'vicious' attack by refused passengers
A PRIVATE hire taxi driver was subjected to a brutal attack by a man and two women he refused to take as passengers.
Raja Khan, who works for DG Cars, was punched inside the car before being hit repeatedly until he fell to the ground when he tried to escape.
Mr Khan, 31, of Russell Road, Forest Fields, said he was just obeying the rules by declining to drive the group to the city from Sherwood in the early hours of Sunday.
It is illegal for private hire drivers to take on passengers who have not pre-ordered the car with the company – and breaking the law could result in a fine as well as six points on the driver's licence.
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"I feel like I was being punished for trying to do the right thing," said Mr Khan, who suffered severe cuts, bruises and a swollen eye.
"I can't believe this has happened to me. It was an absolutely vicious, cruel and brutal attack.
"I have been signed off work by my doctor for two weeks, but I don't get sick pay. My wife is pregnant and due on May 12, so we have no income at the moment. We are struggling to pay the bills."
However, his loss isn't only financial. "I am traumatised and going back to work will be very difficult. I have lost all faith in humanity.
"When I came home on Sunday morning, my two-year-old daughter was too scared to come to me."
Mr Khan said he was taken aback when two women and one man, who he said were in their 30s, suddenly jumped into his car after he had dropped someone off in Mansfield Road, Nottingham, at around 2am on Sunday.
After trying to explain that taking them into town would be breaking the law, they argued with him for a couple of minutes, Mr Khan said, before they started to hit him.
"At one point, one of them was holding me down while the others were beating me," he said.
"I wanted to get away and ran out of the car but they followed me and hit me repeatedly until I fell to the ground. My nose was bleeding and I was feeling dizzy."
He said they also racially abused him.
The group ran off, leaving Mr Khan lying on the pavement, he said.
Passers-by quickly came to his help and called the police and ambulance. Mr Khan was taken to the Queen's Medical Centre where he had stitches in his nose. He was discharged at around 9am.
His wife, Lubna Pervaiz, said: "I was horrified. I didn't think anything like this could happen."
Shakeel Asghar, director of the Private Hire Association, said there had been a steep increase in attacks of this sort. "We had 170 reports of attacks like these last year from drivers across the country and have already had 230 this year," said Mr Asghar.
Ajmil Ali, one of the owners of DG Cars, said: "Mr Khan is a good employee who was just trying to do his job properly. Sadly, these attacks have increased, especially at weekends."
A police spokesman said investigations were ongoing. No arrests have yet been made.