Uber driver arrested in alleged rape of female passenger in India

Local police say they will take legal action against the on-demand ride service over alleged driver and vehicle violations.

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The alleged rape of a woman in India is the latest incident to raise safety concerns for passengers of ride-sharing services. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Police in India arrested an Uber driver on Sunday accused of raping a woman who booked her ride through the online taxi service, according to media reports.

A 26-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted and beaten after hailing an Uber ride from a social event late Friday in south Dehli, Reuters reported. Shiv Kumar Yadav, 32, was arrested in his hometown, Mathura, about 100 miles from Dehli, and is expected to be in court Monday.

The alleged rape is the latest incident to call into question the safety of ride-sharing services, which use a smartphone app to connect riders with part-time drivers of private cars. The most severe incident was the death of 6-year-old Sophia Liu, who was struck and killed by an Uber driver on New Year's Eve in San Francisco. There have also been more than a dozen allegations of sexual assault and groping; kidnapping; and physical assault, according to several media stories.

Local police said they would take legal action against the San Francisco-based service for allegedly failing to perform mandatory background checks on the driver, who they said lacks a driver's license issued by the Delhi Transport Authority. Authorities also said the driver's vehicle lacked a mandatory GPS tracking system.

"Every violation by Uber will be evaluated and we will go for legal recourse," Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner with the Delhi police, told the Indian Express.

An Uber spokeswoman said the service suspended the driver's account and provided local police with information about the driver, his vehicle, and trip details when it was notified of the alleged incident. Uber, which said it will continue to cooperate with local authorities' investigation, said its drivers in India undergo commercial licensing and hold state-issued permits and identification.

"This is an abhorrent crime," Uber spokeswoman Evelyn Tay said in a statement. "Our thoughts remain with the victim who has shown tremendous courage under the circumstances."