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Indian police arrest Uber driver for harassment

NEW DELHI: Indian police said Tuesday they have arrested an Uber driver for sexual harassment after a complaint from a female passenger that has raised fresh concerns over the safety of the taxi service.

The arrest followed the alleged rape of a young woman by an Uber driver in New Delhi last year that sparked criticism of the company’s safety checks.

The alleged victim in the latest case told police the driver had tried to “forcibly” kiss her after dropping her at her destination in Gurgaon, a satellite city southwest of Delhi.

Police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk told AFP by text message that the driver, a 40-year-old Delhi resident, had been arrested on sexual harassment charges.

India introduced strict new laws on harassment following the brutal gang rape of a 26-year-old physiotherapy student on a Delhi bus in 2012.

Uber, which connect passengers to drivers through a smartphone app, said the driver had been suspended.

“Uber has a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour and immediate action has already been taken with the driver partner being deactivated while the matter is being thoroughly investigated,” it said in a statement.

Uber was accused of failing to conduct adequate background checks following last year’s alleged rape.

It was subsequently ordered off Delhi’s roads, but resumed services after applying for a new licence to operate as a radio taxi service — an application that is still pending.

The US-based company has expanded rapidly in recent years, but it has faced hurdles from regulators in many locations and protests from traditional taxi services. – AFP

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