Eric Alexander, head of Uber's operations in the Asia Pacific region, will be questioned for a second time by Delhi police on Wednesday after a 27-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a driver contracted by the company, forcing a closure of its services in some Indian cities. Hyderabad, the largest city in the southern Indian state of Telangana, became the second city to ban Uber's services after New Delhi, following the incident on Friday night.
Alexander reportedly met with senior police officials on Tuesday and was also issued a notice by local police to provide certain documents, including details of all the cabs affiliated to the company as well as information about the company's directors. Hyderabad's road transport association reportedly said that it had banned Uber and was scrutinizing the operations of other taxi companies in the city. Authorities in Hyderabad also said that they would screen all documents provided by the city's cab drivers.
On Tuesday, Delhi police had booked Uber on charges of cheating customers by promising them a safe commute by verified drivers, and on Monday, the transport department blacklisted the services of the company for failing to run a complete check on its drivers. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also urged all states to ban the operation of unregistered Internet-based taxi services. NDTV, a local television network, reported Wednesday that Uber services continued to be available in New Delhi, regardless of the ban.
Police reportedly recovered an iPhone used by the accused cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav from Mathura, about 100 miles south of New Delhi, where he had fled following the incident. Yadav was arrested after a search operation in the town on Sunday and was ordered to police custody for three days by a Delhi court on Monday. Yadav accompanied Delhi police on Tuesday in search of the phone, The Times of India, a local newspaper reported Wednesday, adding that police had so far recovered two of the three phones used by Yadav.
"The phone is an important evidence for us. It will prove that Yadav works for Uber which will help us prove the culpability of the cab service. It will also prove that Yadav was driving the cab which the victim has booked," a senior police official reportedly said.
Nearly a week before the finance executive was raped Friday, another woman had filed a complaint against Yadav for inappropriate behavior on Nov. 26. Nidhi Shah reportedly said that she received an email from the company stating it would question the driver.
"Sorry about what happened here! I've passed along your feedback to our driver operations team, so that they can check in on Shiv about it,” the email said, according to NDTV.
I took a cab with Shiv Kumar Yadav in Delhi on Nov 26th. Scares me beyond belief. #DelhiShamedAgain
— Nidhi Shah (@nps2113) December 8, 2014
— Nidhi Shah (@nps2113) December 9, 2014
Yadav, who has a series of criminal charges against him, is undergoing trial in a 2013 rape case and was out on bail at the time of the alleged rape. He was also reportedly arrested in 2003 for assaulting a woman and spent nearly seven months in a Delhi jail before being acquitted in a 2011 sexual assault case.