New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a 29-year-old woman was allegedly abducted and sexually harassed inside a car by a man posing as Uber driver. A PTI report said the incident happened after the woman boarded the cab in neighbouring Haryana. The accused, identified as 22-year-old Sanjeev alias Sanju, a resident of Haryana’s Gannaur, has been arrested by the police.
As per details available, the incident happened on March 9 when the woman, who works as an advisor in an MNC, booked an Uber cab to travel from Kundli in Haryana to her residence in Rohini’s Sector-3 in Delhi. When the cab arrived, the victim noticed that the car had a white number plate instead of the yellow commercial number plate. Further, the car glasses were also tinted, the police said.
While the woman boarded the cab, she grew suspicious of the driver as his face was different from the image of the driver that was being shown in the Uber app. The driver, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, took a secluded route in Narela which was different from the one which the woman used to take normally. Police said the driver also made unwanted advances several times during the journey.
When the victim tried to get out from the vehicle at a traffic signal, the driver locked the doors using a central lock and threatened her, the police said. When the car slowed down at a CNG station near GTK depot, she took the opportunity to unlock the door and jumped out of the car. The driver then absconded from the spot with his car, police officials added.
The police, during its probe, gathered the details of the vehicles and drivers from Uber and the cab was traced to Janti Kalan village in Sonipat, Haryana. A police team visited the village on the intervening night of March 9 and 10 and traced the vehicle in which a man was found lying in a drunken state, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Aslam Khan said.
Police said Sanjeev used to drive the car even though he was not registered with Uber and did not have a driving licence. The man, who was registered with Uber as the vehicle’s driver, had actually given his vehicle to Sanju to drive.
The investigators are examining the other driver’s culpability and have also sent a questionnaire to the cab aggregator firm in connection with the case. A reply is awaited, they said.
Meanwhile, Uber said in a statement that they have initiated action against the errant driver and are cooperating with the police in the investigation. An Uber spokesperson said that they have removed the driver who allowed another man to drive his vehicle.
“The drivers in the present incident have violated the terms of the agreement that Uber signs with its driver-partners. Such behaviour puts our riders and driver partners at risk and is not tolerated.
“We immediately removed the driver partner’s access to the app and will take strict action against him for letting an unregistered driver without a licence access his account and take trips via the app,” the spokesperson said.
He added that the company is “ready to support law enforcement authorities with any information needed for their investigation”.