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Indian Capital Bans Uber Taxi Service After Alleged Rape


Indian residents hold placards and chant slogans as they take part in a protest against the alleged rape of a passenger by a driver working for the Uber taxi company in New Delhi, Dec. 7, 2014.

The New Delhi city government has banned taxi-booking service Uber after a woman was allegedly raped by one of its drivers.

City officials said Monday the Uber taxi services will no longer be able to operate in the Indian Capital.

A spokeswoman for Uber said she could not immediately comment on Monday.

The suspect, 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, appeared in a New Delhi court on Monday and was remanded in custody for three days.

Yadav was charged with raping a finance company employee Friday night. The woman alleges Yadav took her to a secluded area and raped her after she fell asleep in the car.

Background check

Police said Yadav was arrested on charges of raping a woman three years ago but was later acquitted. Police said they also were considering legal action against the taxi service for failing to run background checks on the driver.

Uber has responded that there were no defined rules in India on background checks for commercial transport licenses and it was working with the government to address the issue.

U.S.-based Uber touts itself as a safe option for door-to-door car service, in part because of its cashless, mobile payment system. It began serving New Delhi last December.

On Sunday, student demonstrators scuffled with law enforcement at police headquarters in the capital to protest what they described as a system of impunity in how the state handles sexual assaults.

The fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus two years ago brought renewed attention to sexual violence in the country.

India is the fourth-most dangerous place for a woman to take public transport, according to a poll published in October by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. It was ranked second-worst on safety at night and for verbal harassment.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.