India

India Uber taxi driver accused of Delhi rape

  • 8 December 2014
  • From the section India
Media captionScuffles broke out at a protest in Delhi over the case

A woman in India says she was raped by a taxi driver after booking the cab using the popular Uber smartphone app.

The 26-year-old from Delhi told police she dozed off in the taxi and when she woke up the vehicle was parked in a secluded part of the capital.

Police said a medical examination had backed up her allegation. The driver of the taxi was arrested on Sunday.

The latest incident comes amid increasing concern at sexual violence against women in India.

Uber, which enables customers to book and pay for taxis online, said it was co-operating with the police.

"Our thoughts are with the victim of this terrible crime and we are working with the police as they investigate," it said in a statement.

The woman, who works in finance, told police she called the taxi on Friday evening after dining at a restaurant.

She alleged that after raping her, the driver warned her she would be hurt if she raised the alarm. He then dropped her off near her home.

The driver later abandoned the taxi and returned to his home in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state where he was arrested, police said.

He will be produced in the court on Monday.

Safety

Uber, which is growing in India, has been accused of failing to conduct adequate checks on its drivers.

Image caption India is one of dozens of countries where Uber is popular

"Our initial investigations have revealed shortcomings of the private cab company which didn't have GPS installed in its cabs and the staff wasn't verified," Delhi Special Commissioner Deepak Mishra said.

But Uber, which is based in San-Francisco, said safety was paramount, and said it had GPS traces of all journeys.

"We work with licensed driver-partners to provide a safe transportation option, with layers of safeguards such as driver and vehicle information, and ETA-sharing [estimated time of arrival] to ensure there is accountability and traceability of all trips that occur on the Uber platform," its statement added.

Uber, established in 2009, is present in dozens of countries and recently attracted investment which values it at $40bn (£25bn).

The latest allegation of rape has again put the spotlight on the issue of sexual violence against Indian women, following a series of recent incidents.

It comes days before the second anniversary of the gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi, which prompted outrage and a tightening of the laws on sexual violence.

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