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Uber rape: Indian woman withdraws US case

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Washington: An Indian woman executive who sued Uber after allegedly being raped by a driver for the cab-hailing service in India has voluntarily withdrawn her lawsuit, a media report said citing a court filing. The 26-year-old woman filed her lawsuit in January in the US, about a month after she was allegedly raped and assaulted on a Uber ride in Delhi. The woman’s alleged attacker, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was quickly arrested and confessed to the crime a week later during interrogation, according to Delhi Police. He is currently awaiting trial in India. Tuesday’s filing with the US District Court for the Northern District of California did not state whether there were any terms involved with the withdrawal, CNet.com reported. Representatives for Uber and the alleged victim declined to comment. The woman’s New York-based attorney Douglas Wigdor could not immediately be reached for comment.

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In her original lawsuit, the alleged victim accusing the web-based US taxi firm of focusing on profit over the safety of its passengers, sought unspecified damages and for Uber to “overhaul” its safety measures. The woman detailed 13 separate safety measures she believes the company should adopt, including requiring drivers to install “tamper-proof” video cameras in their cars that would trigger an alarm if disabled. “Uber’s focus on its bottom line over the safety of its passengers has resulted in what can only be described as modern day electronic hitchhiking,” Wigdor said at that time. “We hope that this lawsuit will bring about positive change that will ultimately protect people worldwide who are unaware of the serious risks of entering into an Uber car,” Wigdor added. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick initially also called the crime “horrific” and said the company would do “everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice”.

But the company argued in April that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the company had no relationship with the defendant and because the lawsuit could not be brought in the US. “While the plaintiff undoubtedly can state a claim against her alleged assailant, she cannot state a claim against Uber US, which is the wrong party,” Uber wrote in its motion, saying that Yadav was working for Uber BV, a Netherlands-based overseas operation. “Nor does California law govern a dispute involving an alleged wrong committed by one Indian citizen against another Indian citizen, in India.”

(IANS)

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Uber and Breakthrough Join Hands to Help End Gender-Based Violence

Uber, Breakthrough launch campaign over gender violence

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Uber has announced a partnership with Breakthrough, a non-profit organisation to help end gender-based violence across the country. Pixabay

Ride-hailing major Uber has announced a partnership with Breakthrough, a non-profit organisation to help end gender-based violence across the country.

As part of the collaboration, Breakthrough– which works to reduce violence against women and girls in India, has launched a campaign –#IgnoreNoMore, which encourages bystander intervention and supports collective action to end gender-based violence in public spaces.

The campaign seeks to encourage bystander intervention and collective action to end gender-based violence in public spaces.

“#IgnoreNoMore is designed to drive awareness, inspire action and encourage more Indians to say “no more” to gender-based violence and bystander apathy,” said Sohini Bhattacharya, President and CEO, Breakthrough.

“The campaign will push people to understand their own role as changemakers for building safer public spaces. We are pleased that Uber is committed to becoming an industry leader on this issue,” Bhattacharya added.

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Uber has also brought its global “Driving Change” campaign to India. Wikimedia Commons

Crimes against women and girls, especially in public spaces, have seen a steady rise in recent years, the NGO said. The #IgnoreNoMore campaign aims to raise awareness on how bystanders can become agents of change rather than just spectators.

The approach will empower bystanders to recognise unhealthy and problematic behaviour and intervene before abuse or assault takes place. The Uber has also brought its global “Driving Change” campaign to India.

“Sexual assault and gender-based violence don’t belong anywhere in our communities. Helping keep people safe is a huge responsibility and one we do not take lightly,” said Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, India, Uber.

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“We’re committing major funding for awareness and prevention programmes with members of courageous, thought-leading organizations like Breakthrough and we will continue to seek advice from them on how we can do more to prevent violence and to help keep women safe,” Vaish added. (IANS)