Woman alleges molestation by Uber driver in Gurgaon

Gurgaon, June 1 (IANS) Six months after the rape of a financial consultant by an Uber cab driver, the App based cab service provider ran into fresh controversy after a driver was accused of molesting a 21-year-old student in Gurgaon.

The woman, who resides in Delhi’s Rohini with her family and studies in DanceWorx academy, alleged that Uber cab driver Vinod molested her on Saturday night around 10 p.m. in Gurgaon’s Suncity area, when she disembarked from the car to go to a friend’s house.

In her complaint to the police, the woman said that she was forcefully kissed and molested by the driver who later fled from the spot after she raised an alarm.

Gugaon Police said that after receiving the complaint from the victim, they had initiated an inquiry.

When contacted through an email to ‘media queries’ on their website, Uber said it was an “alleged” incident and the facts had not yet been finally established.

“This is an alleged incident. Until the facts are final it would be wrong to pass judgement. We cannot share details that you have requested to protect privacy of those involved,” Karun Arya, said in reply to a mail by IANS, without giving his designation.

While talking to IANS, the victim’s elder brother said his sister had boarded the Uber cab around 9.30 p.m. near Subhash Nagar Pacific mall (in Gurgaon). She had booked the cab for Suncity.

“On the way, the driver discussed with my sister about his family. She showed sympathy towards his family’s condition. When my sister got down from the car, he held her hand and kissed her. When she tried to push him back, he also molested her,” the victim’s brother said.

He said that his sister’s friend took her to a nearby police station in Gurgaon and registered a complaint.

“She also made a complaint to Uber through mail,” he added.

The brother said that the driver had also called up his sister on Monday and complained that because of her “he had lost his job.” He said because of this call he feared for his sister, adding that the police should take action against him.

When the victim shared the incident with her brother on Sunday, he attached a copy of her complaint made to Uber on social networking site Facebook along with the company’s reply.

“My sister availed your cab service, last night for Gurgaon & your driver Vinod tried to kiss her forcibly & even after registering complaint with you morons there has been no action, no update from your end.”

The company, in a reply sent to the victim’s brother, said it was following up the matter with the driver and that it has a “zero tolerance policy” for such cases.

Uber General Manager Gagan Bhatia said that their team “immediately reached out to the rider via phone within a few minutes of receiving the feedback. Multiple members of the Uber team have spoken with the driver.”

The brother said in his Facebook post that it was “pathetic” the company still didn’t have any mechanism in place on such issues.

“What is making you people wait for so long? Looking for a escape mechanism? Get the culprit punished or you are in heaps of trouble for shielding him,” the post read.

Uber further said in the Facebook reply: “In order to protect the privacy of parties involved, we will continue to handle this matter directly with the concerned parties. As discussed with the rider on the phone and email, our team is ready to assist further in any way we can to share information with authorities. We can also confirm that the driver-partner does have a valid PSV badge and commercial license issued by the Delhi authorities,” it said.

In December, a 25-year-old Delhi based woman, who works in a finance company in Gurgaon, was raped by a Uber cab driver in north Delhi’s Sarai Rohilla. The driver is in judicial custody facing trial.

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