An Uber Driver Has Allegedly Raped A Woman In New Delhi

According to media reports, the Uber driver pulled into a secluded area and sexually assaulted her.

Cover image via Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

For the working women in New Delhi, allegedly the rape capital of India, stepping out in the night, it seems, has just become harder. As per several media reports, a young woman in New Delhi was allegedly raped by an Uber driver while returning home late Friday night.

A number of media in the country — including Times of India and NDTV — report that a woman was raped sometime between Friday night and the early hours of Saturday after taking an Uber ride home.

The woman, whose age is reported as 25 and 27 by various media, is said to have fallen asleep in the back of the car.

When she woke up to find the car parked in a secluded spot, the driver is then reported to have raped her and, after taking her home, threatened to kill her if she reported the incident.
Image via

Currently, the suspected Uber driver is missing

According to reports, he deleted the Uber app from his phone after the incident so as not to be tracked and police claim the phone may not have been registered in the suspect’s name.

Though accounts vary on the woman’s age (one claims she is 25 and the other 27), police note that she managed to take a picture of the driver’s license plate with her phone. Police are currently looking for the suspect.

In a statement to media, Uber did confirm the incident and said that it is working with authorities having already banned the driver:

We became aware of the incident this morning. Safety is Uber’s highest priority and we take situations like this very seriously. We are working with the police as they investigate, and will assist them in any way we can to determine what happened.

It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following allegations of a serious incident, which we have done. In India, we work with licensed driver-partners to provide a safe transportation option, with layers of safeguards such as driver and vehicle information, and ETA-sharing to ensure there is accountability and traceability of all trips that occur on the Uber platform.

Uber followed the statement with a tweet from its New Delhi account:

However, despite its high-end technology and emphasis on safety, Uber, now valued at over USD40 billion, as Quartz aptly notes in its report, has apparently failed to deliver on its promise and what its Indian customers expect —a safe and reliable cab ride

Uber Delhi's Twitter profile picture

Image via

For those who aren't familiar with the service, Uber is a worldwide cab company that has risen to quick success by using smartphones to connect drivers and riders. It's recently arrived in India, and in a short time, it has come to get much traction, specially among the young.

Its website emphasises that the service is "Uber is New Delhi's best way to request a safe, reliable, and affordable ride within minutes".

Following the reports in the media, several Indian users took to social media to share their concerns and views on the terrible incident:

However, this is not the first sexual complaint against an Uber driver

In 2013, an Uber driver in Washington D.C. was arrested for allegedly raping a 20-year-old passenger, though he wasn’t charged.

And more recently, in April this year, an Uber driver in Chicago was charged for fondling a customer.

In the light of this incident, it seems valid to ask as to what options are really left for women out there when neither walking, using public transportation nor hailing even a tech-savvy cab service like Uber keeps them safe from sexual violence? Further reading:

You may be interested in: