An Uber cab driver has been arrested in Kolkata for allegedly masturbating while driving a 25-year-old woman passenger, a virtual repeat of an incident involving another taxi aggregator service in the national capital earlier this month.
The woman, working in a mall in south Kolkata, filed a complaint in Bhawanipur police station that accused the driver of masturbating while driving her from Elgin Road to Netajinagar in Tollygunj in the evening on July 8.
She alleged the driver deliberately took a detour instead of a shorter route. When she protested, the driver allegedly threatened her.
Police officials tracked down the driver, identified as Pintu Yadav, to his residence at Kurstia Road in Tiljola. He was arrested on July 20.
“We have arrested the driver and an investigation is on,” said Murlidhar, deputy commissioner of Kolkata Police (south division).
Yadav was booked under provisions of the Indian Penal Code related to criminal intimidation and molestation. He was produced in a city court, which granted him bail.
The incident in the West Bengal city occurred about 20 days after another woman in Delhi alleged a driver of a TaxiForSure cab had masturbated while driving her around the city.
In an email response to HT, Uber said the driver involved in the incident in Kolkata "had all valid documentation and had cleared the independent background check".
Ashwin Dias, Uber's general manager in Kolkata, said in the email: "Upon being notified by the rider we immediately suspended the driver partner and assisted the local authorities with all necessary information required for their investigation. In fact, the rider was satisfied with our immediate assistance and action and continues to frequently use Uber post this alleged incident.”
Uber has been involved in a series of incidents, including the rape of a woman by a driver in Delhi last December. The incident led to an uproar across the country, forcing authorities to initiate steps to regulate app-based cab services.