An Uber cab driver in India has been arrested for allegedly raping and threatening his 27-year-old female passenger Friday night. The shocking incident in Delhi set off protests over the country's chronic sexual assaults, and raised questions about the security of the US-based taxi app.
The driver — 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadev — lacked both a driver's license and a GPS tracker, police told the Times of India, despite Uber's safety claims that they "thoroughly screen" every driver and conduct "ongoing reviews of drivers' motor vehicle records throughout their time with Uber."
The police issued a notice to Uber asking that they join the investigation.
"There are norms to operate such cab service set by the Transportation Department and we will see if they complied or not," deputy commissioner of police Madhur Verma told the Times of India.
Uber did not immediately return calls and emails from VICE News requesting comment, but the company issued a statement saying that they provided the driver's name, vehicle data, and trip details to the police so they could investigate the "abhorrent crime."
"Safety is our number one priority and in India, Uber exclusively partners with registered for-hire drivers who have undergone the commercial licensing process, hold government issued ID's, state-issued permits, and carry full commercial insurance," the statement said. "We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation to bring this crime to justice."
Uber Cab rape case is an eye opener for the way a company brands itself! It cannot claim to be trust worthy and fail tests of due diligence!
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi)December 7, 2014
The Friday incident — which occurred just days before the two-year anniversary of a notorious gang rape on a Delhi city bus — allegedly began after the 27-year-old woman called an Uber car at 10pm from a restaurant. The woman boarded the taxi at 10:30pm to go home, but passed out during the ride and awoke to the driver molesting her, the Times of India reported.
She allegedly cried out for help but was in a remote area, and the driver then raped her, slapped her, and threatened to stab her. When she attempted to message a friend about the crime, he allegedly warned that he would kill her.
The crime spawned a renewed wave of protests Sunday in Delhi over the uncurbed rate of rapes in India, the Associated Press reported. Officials estimate that 25,000 rapes occur each year in the country, but activists claim the figure is much higher.
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