Indian Uber driver arrested after alleged rape, police say

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Story highlights

  • Driver to appear in court Monday; police seek further information from Uber
  • Shiv Kumar Yadav arrested in Mathura after woman accuses him of rape, police say
  • He gave incorrect address when registering as Uber driver, police official says
  • Uber calls alleged attack "ahorrent," says it has given driver, trip information to police
Police on Sunday arrested an Uber driver accused of raping a woman in the Indian capital, authorities said.
Shiv Kumar Yadav is in custody in Mathura, about 150 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of New Delhi, said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police for North Delhi.
Investigators seized the vehicle but weren't immediately able to arrest the suspect, who Verma said was "running here and there."
When Yadav registered as an Uber driver, he used his real name but an incorrect address, Verma said.
"His address and background (were) unverified. He was not having (the mandatory) security badge which is given after police verification," Verma said. Yadhav was acquitted in a previous rape case in 2012, he said.
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Uber said in a statement that it "exclusively partners" with registered drivers who have been through the commercial licensing process and who have government identification and state-issued permits.
Police are requesting more information from Uber as they try to determine "what due-diligence was taken before using this driver," Verma said.
Yadav was due to appear in court Monday as police seek to keep him in custody for further questioning.
The alleged victim is a 26-year-old employee of a finance company in Gurgaon, a New Delhi suburb, he said.
After work Friday, she had dinner at a friend's apartment before ordering an Uber car to take her home, Verma said.
She dozed off in the automobile, she told police, according to Verma. When she woke up, the driver had parked the car on a "deserted stretch," where he assaulted her, Verma said, citing her complaint.
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The driver then dropped her off near her home, threatening her with violence if she told anyone what had happened, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on Monday.
The victim called police at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, less than an hour after the attack.
Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said his company would work with the local government "to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs."
But Verma disputed that assertion, saying that "background checks are already part of our established practice."
In its statement, Uber called the alleged assault an "abhorrent crime" and said it had given police the driver's name, photo, address and vehicle registration, along with details of the trip during which the assault allegedly occurred.
"Our thoughts remain with the victim who has shown tremendous courage under the circumstances," the company said. "We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation to bring this crime to justice."
The December 2012 gang rape and killing of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi put the spotlight on sexual assaults in the country of 1.25 billion people. Four of the six men involved in the attack were sentenced to death, and their cases are navigating the appeals process.
The crime ignited campaigns to call attention to violent crime targeting women, and since then, rapes have made headlines all over the country, from the districts of Moradabad, Badaun, Bahraich, Kushinagar and Mumbai.
In June, three brothers confessed to raping two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh state. Police said at first that the suspects hanged their victims from a mango tree, but an investigation of their deaths concluded late last month that the girls committed suicide. One of the victim's brothers has said he is skeptical of the investigation's findings.
Last week, video emerged of sisters Aarti and Pooja Kumar punching and thrashing three men with a belt while riding a bus in the northern state of Haryana. The sisters accused the men of harassing them and told CNN affiliate IBN they hope the video of them fighting back deters other attacks.
"Parents must teach their sons how to behave with women," Aarti Kumar, 22, told the station.