An off-duty Uber taxi driver raped a 38-year-old woman at his Ghaziabad home after picking her from Karkardooma court in New Delhi, police said on Sunday.
The woman suffers from a medical condition which impairs her ability to remember things.
The 45-year-old cabbie was arrested and charged with sodomising the woman and “brutally beating” her up when she resisted the sexual abuse.
The woman lives in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri with her children. She doesn’t have a job and is saddled with domestic troubles.
A domestic issue brought her to Karkardooma court in east Delhi on Thursday. After finishing her court work, she was standing near gate number 4 when she met the cabbie.
During their conversation, she mentioned her desperation and asked him if he could employ her as a maid or get her a job elsewhere.
“The driver told her he would let his wife decide and asked her to accompany him to his home in his car. They went to his home in Gokal Dham Society near the Hindon river in Ghaziabad,” said Ravinbdra Yadav, the joint commissioner of police (eastern range).
The cabbie’s wife and four children were not at home and the man used the opportunity to rape and assault the woman. He brought the woman to the gates of the court complex and dumped her there, before driving away.
The car is attached to app-based taxi service Uber, but police found it was not hired by the woman.
In deep pain, the woman visited a government hospital in east Delhi.
“Doctors there realised she was sexually assaulted and called police,” said Nupur Prasad, the deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara).
When police spoke to her, she couldn’t remember either the identity of the suspect or the name of place she was taken to.
“We helped her recollect her conversation with the driver. She gradually remembered the accused mentioning Gokal Dham Society,” said an investigator.
Police looked up for localities named Gokal Dham in New Delhi before shifting to Noida and Ghaziabad. “It’s a small housing society in Ghaziabad. When she was taken to the locality the next day, the victim helped us identify the home and pointed out the accused when he was sighted,” the investigator said.
The taxi driver has not committed any crime before, police said.
When contacted for a response, Uber said police have not approached the company yet about the crime.
“What’s been described is deplorable and something no one should ever go through. Once approached, we will cooperate with local authorities to support their investigation and proceedings in any way possible,” a spokesperson said.
The rape charge could dent Uber’s image in India, though the cabbie was off duty. The web-based taxi service was blacklisted in New Delhi in 2014 after a woman passenger reported she was raped by a driver contracted to the American company.
The case caused uproar after it emerged that the suspect was previously charged with rape but obtained a character reference signed by a police officer that was forged. Uber was accused of not running background checks on its drivers.
The case reignited a debate about the safety of women in Asia’s third-largest economy, especially New Delhi, which is often dubbed India’s rape capital.
Uber driver offers ride to mentally ill woman, rapes her in his Ghaziabad home Jul 10, 2017 Shiv Sunny Hindustan Times, New Delhi