New Delhi Protests The Uber "Rape" That Exposed India's Flawed Approach To Women's Safety, Again
On Monday protestors gathered in New Delhi to protest the alleged rape of a woman by an Uber driver over the weekend. Advocates say that the Indian government has failed to properly address women's safety in the country. And as of Monday, the taxi-sharing service has been banned in Delhi.
Protestors rallied outside of the residence of India's Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, to decry his inaction in the case. The interior ministry that Singh runs, which oversees domestic policy, has been criticized by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its failure to address a rape epidemic in the country. Reuters reported that India is the fourth-most dangerous place for women to take public transportation.
The Uber driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, appeared in court on Monday after three days in custody. The BBC reported that protestors waiting outside of the court attempted to attack Yadav as he exited. Around 100 protestors were detained in the protests.
Yadav evoked chilling comparisons to a brutal 2012 rape case when he allegedly told the 27-year-old woman that he would shove an iron rod into her stomach if she went to the police about the attack. The 2012 case made international headlines and still serves as a blight on the country's conscious.
Transportation officials announced on Monday that Uber would be banned in the city, though it appears that Uber has not suspended the ability to request rides. If drivers still choose to pick up passengers they could face fines or vehicle impoundment.
Indian police are considering taking legal action against the U.S.-based company for not properly screening candidates. Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO, said that the company would do everything to work with India to establish background guidelines "currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs."
It is unclear if the protests contributed directly to the ban, but it seems to be a step in the right direction for advocates angry about the relative inaction of their government in handling rape cases.
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