A Uber driver in India is being accused of allegedly raping a woman. Uber previously claimed to be a safe and reliable car service, however, in light of recent allegations, the company’s reputation is in jeopardy.
Uber has commented that they are working with the police to “solve the terrible crime.” A spokesperson for the ride-sharing service also commented that Uber’s top priority, especially in India, is the safety of their passengers.
The woman in question claims she dozed off on her ride and when she woke up, the car was parked in a secluded spot where she was being raped by the driver before he took her home. The driver allegedly threatened the woman, saying if she were to go to the authorities, he would violate her again and kill her. She took a photograph of the car’s plates and immediately reported the crime, despite the driver’s alleged threats.
The driver and alleged rapist was identified as 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav. It was reported that he turned his phone off during the alleged incident to avoid being tracked. The abandoned car was reported to have been discovered in Uttar Pradesh and the case is currently being investigated
Deputy commissioner with the Delhi police, Madhur Verma, made a statement saying that arresting the driver and collecting evidence is the departments first priority. Verma also commented that they want to “see the victim get justice.”
Sadly, this is not the first time a rape has occurred in connection with public transportation in India. In 2012, a young medical student was gang raped on a moving bus. In 2013, Delhi was reported to have the highest number of rapes, based on data from the National Crime Records Bureau. Safety is a genuine concern for women in India.
Although Uber maintains that their goal is to provide a safe transportation option, Verma alleges that drivers’ vehicles are not equipped with proper GPS. Also, they allegedly do not perform background checks or do any driver verification. There is apparent negligence when it comes to security.
In the US, the popular ride-sharing service has come under fire for a number of issues, including allegedly “spying” on their passengers and “digging up dirt on journalists.” Uber is also beginning to garner a reputation as a rule breaker. The ride-sharing service recently set up shop in Portland, Oregon, after being deemed illegal by the department of transportation.
The growing ride-sharing service is also creating friction between the Uber drivers and traditional taxi drivers in both the US and Europe. It is reported that Uber does not adhere to the required regulations that are expected of taxi’s. Uber is also developing a bad reputation with more than just other drivers. The alleged rape of a woman in India by a Uber driver is doing more harm than good for the company.
In a time in India when women are extremely conscious about their safety, especially after dark, the alleged rape of a woman by a Uber driver is unsettling news. For the company, who has come under fire for a variety of different infractions, this alleged incident could potentially hurt their business which currently operates in 200 cities worldwide.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by Ramesh Lalwani – Flickr License