The Cyberabad Police have arrested an Uber cab driver after he allegedly misbehaved while giving a woman passenger a ride earlier this week.
The woman, reported to be a resident of Kondapur took the cab on October 19, to head to the airport and catch a flight to Delhi. She had then shared a detailed account of her ordeal in a Facebook post.
"The driver started behaving strangely as soon as the car entered the Outer Ring Road. He slowed down the car and drove in an odd manner. He started staring at her through the rear view mirror and to her shock she realised that the driver unzipped his pant and was masturbating in full public view," a press release by the police stated.
DCP Vishwa Prasad stated that the arrested accused was identified as Prem Kumar, and he was the driver-cum-owner of the car.
Narrating what had happened, the woman had earlier posted on Facebook, "After about 5mins when I realized what he was doing, I shouted and asked him to stop the car - unfazed, and continuing his act, he very nonchalantly asked me what was wrong. After much screaming, he reluctantly stopped the car, and continued standing on the road until I took a picture of him and threatened to go to the cops."
The woman said that though she shouted and got him to stop the car, she was scared that he could harm her even as he looked blankly at her "without an ounce of guilt".
"I was scared- as a woman alone in a still-unfamiliar city. Scared of what else he may do since I'd threatened him. Scared that he may return while I waited on the road for another cab. Scared at how utterly powerless I felt when he blankly looked at me, without an ounce of guilt on his face. And most of all, scared that this was probably not the first time he'd done this- yet he was still out there, just a matter of time until he did the same, or God forbid, did worse with some other woman," she wrote.
The Uber driver was booked under sections 354A (Sexual harassment) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Speaking to India Today after the driver's arrest, the woman said, "I am extremely thankful to the Hyderabad police for arresting him so quickly. I am also grateful to the media - news channels and the social media for raising awareness. The larger question is how do we prevent such incidents from recurring. Uber must come up with concrete answers on how it's changing its mode of functioning to see to it that all drivers are carefully vetted and passenger safety is ensured."