India Arrests Uber Driver in Rape of Passenger

Police threaten taxi company with legal action for failing to screen driver
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2014 9:04 AM CST
India Arrests Uber Driver in Rape
Police push away protesters from All India Students Association outside Delhi police headquarters after a Uber driver allegedly raped a young woman Friday.   (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

India police today arrested a 32-year-old Uber driver in the rape of a New Delhi woman who used the taxi service on Friday, and they're threatening legal action against Uber itself, reports Reuters, saying that the company failed to adequately screen the driver or install a GPS location device in his car. "Every violation by Uber will be evaluated and we will go for legal recourse," says a New Delhi police rep. A Uber spokeswoman says in a statement that the account of the driver in question, Shiv Kumar Yadav, has been suspended and that "we will assist (police) in any way we can ."

The victim, variously reported as being 26 or 27 years old, caught a ride with Uber on her way home from a dinner engagement; the Hindu reports that she fell asleep on the ride, and awoke to find the vehicle parked in a remote area. She says the driver threatened her, then raped her; when he dropped her at home, Reuters notes that she was able to write down his driver number and photograph the car. Meanwhile, the AP notes that dozens of student protesters clashed with New Delhi police today. "I am here to protest the irregularities and failure of the state machinery, which refuses to acknowledge that rapes happen due to their failure," says one protester. Yadav was arrested in his hometown, 100 miles from New Delhi, and is being brought back to the capital. He's due in court tomorrow. ( Uber hasn't been getting great press lately.)

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