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Uber Driver Arrested in India for Alleged Rape of Passenger
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Protests from 2013 in India regarding the safety of women.

Summary: A New Delhi woman has accused an Uber driver of rape, reigniting frustrations for many citizens who feel that women are not safe and face excessive danger in India.

The Huffington Post reports a disturbing story about Uber, a new ridesharing service that is gaining popularity across the globe. The company has been banned in New Delhi after a female passenger accused an Uber driver of rape. The accusation has brought the issue of female safety in India to the center of discussion once again.

  
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Uber employed the accused although he was previously arrested on allegations of sexual assault three years ago. The city’s transport department quickly banned the transportation service in the Indian capital.

Here’s an article about another suit against Uber.

India has increasingly gained attention due to the dangers its female citizens face. Laws have been enacted that impose stricter penalties and implement fast-track court systems, but the country is still fighting to reverse mindsets that leave women vulnerable to sexual harassment and rape. Special commissioner Kuldeep Singh Gangar said, “Keeping in view the violation and the horrific crime committed by the driver, the transport department has banned all activities relating to providing any transport service by the www.Uber.com.”

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Shiv Kumar Yadav, the driver facing the allegations, was in court on Monday and was remanded in custody for an additional three days. Three years ago, he was arrested on rape charges, though he was eventually acquitted. According to the Indian police, legal action may be taken against Uber for failing to complete background checks on the driver. In response, Uber claimed that there were no rules in India that delineated the use of background checks for commercial transport licenses and that it was cooperating with the government to address the issue.



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Travis Kalanick, the chief executive officer of Uber, said, “What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific. We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice.”

According to police, the driver dropped the woman off at her home after he raped her, and told her not to tell the police. The victim was able to get the driver’s number and photograph his vehicle.

The attack comes just two years after a fatal gang rape of another young woman who was using public transportation in New Delhi. After that incident, protests broke out nationwide and many demanded that the government implement stronger punishments for rape.

Here’s an article about arrests in a gang rape incident.

India is known as the fourth-most dangerous place for a woman to use public transportation. It is ranked the second-worst on safety at night and verbal harassment, according to an October poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Every day, an average of 40 crimes against women are registered by Delhi police departments. There are at least four rapes every day, Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, told parliament last week. Monica Kumar, a clinical psychologist who serves as the head of the Delhi-based Manas Foundation, explained that many taxi drivers are migrants from less-developed areas where patriarchy is very prevalent. These drivers were likely shocked to see women out at night alone, or dressed differently. Kumar added, “The conversations about the changing scenario in cities like Delhi where women are becoming more empowered are just not happening.” Kumar also conducts gender-sensitization classes for rickshaw drivers.

Here’s an article about the protests that erupted in India over rape issues.

Uber recently earned some negative press for its driver screening procedures in the United States. Uber also issued an apology for comments an executive made regarding “digging up dirt” on journalists who were investigating the company.

However, the San Francisco-based Uber is valued at $40 billion, signaling a significant potential of expansion into high-growth markets like India.

Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk



 

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