NEW DELHI: The 32-year-old cabbie, who allegedly raped an executive on Friday night, would not have been behind the wheel of the Uber taxi had the US-based company run a background check and got police verification done as he had earlier been jailed too in a rape case.
Shiv Kumar Yadav, who was arrested yesterday in his home town Mathura, is a repeat offender, it was revealed during his initial interrogation by the police.
He has allegedly told the police that he had spent seven months in jail in a rape case which was filed against him in south Delhi's Mehrauli area in 2011.
"He claims that he was later acquitted in the case. We are verifying these claims," said a police official.
Yadav will be produced before a local court today and his police custody will be sought for further investigation and questioning.
He was brought to Delhi last night after being arrested from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, about 160 km from the national capital.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers and NSUI members staged protests outside the residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue this morning.
Rajnath said the incident was a blot on the society and that stern steps will be taken to check such crimes.
"I believe that there cannot be more unfortunate or shameful incident. We are saddened by incidents like these. Stern steps need to be taken," he told reporters.
The Minister said that existing laws needed to be implemented more effectively and efforts should be made to bring about a perceptional change in the society.
The Delhi Police is under Union Home Ministry, which has come under attack over the shocking incident that took place days ahead of the second anniversary of the December 16 gangrape.
AAP activists reached Rajnath Singh's residence at Ashoka Road this morning with placards criticising the Centre over the failure to check such incidents.
The protesters were stopped and detained by police and taken to Parliament Street Police Station.
The party vowed to raise the issue in Parliament and asked as to what steps the Government had taken to ensure security of women.
"AAP will raise the Uber rape issue in Parliament also," tweeted AAP leader Ashutosh.
Later, NSUI workers also staged a demonstration outside the Home Minister's residence demanding strict punishment for the tax driver.
"The government which kept on talking about its concern on women issues during poll campaigning is sitting silent over the case. We demand stringent punishment against the rapist," Amrish Ranjan Pandey, National spokesperson, NSUI said.
"It has been two years since the Nirbhaya incident and this case has again proved how unsafe Delhi is for women," he added.
Yadav, who was driving the uber cab, allegedly raped the woman at around 9:30 PM on Friday when the victim, who works for a finance company in Gurgaon, was heading back home in north Delhi's Inderlok area.
As a massive search operation involving 12 Delhi police teams was on in Mathura and other parts of Uttar Pradesh to nab the accused, Delhi Police had also announced a cash reward of Rs one lakh for his arrest.
Leaders of various parties too condemned the incident and accused the government of inaction.
"Stringent steps should have been taken to ensure security of women. It has been raised in the Parliamentary standing committee as well. Government should have acted, but it did not happen," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia said, "Such heinous allegations have come to light in the case. There was no police verification of driver, no GPS in the cab and besides these lapses, Prime Minister has not said anything. Whoever will say, will politicise and whoever is keeping mum, is governing? "
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the incident has not just raised questions about law but needs to be examined from a social perspective too.
"This is not just a question of law, the incident has happened and police have taken firm action but the question is why such incidents are happening. Beyond law, there are certain social issues as well that we are concerned about," he told reporters.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that it is responsibility of the Central Government to ensure law and order in Delhi and there should be a plan to improve the situation.
"We want the government should come out with a plan to improve the situation. Things like additional patrolling, additional lights or whatever else they want to do. But without a plan of action we are not satisfied," he told reporters.