The Howrah Police on Saturday arrested an Uber driver on charges of attempting to rape and assaulting his former girlfriend in his cab at Kasba. The 24-year-old victim has alleged that two police stations — Kasba and Liluah — refused to take her complaint, after which she finally went to the women police station in Howrah, which registered an FIR.
According to her complaint, the victim had befriended accused Gaurav Saha on Facebook in January, and started dating him a month later. It further said that they had physical relations and Saha had promised that he would marry her. The victim has also alleged that Saha had forced her to have sex on several occasions.
Recently, the victim allegedly came to know that Saha was married and his wife was expecting their first child, after which she decided to end the relationship and stopped taking his calls.
According to her complaint, she agreed to meet Saha outside Maniktala ESI Hospital on Thursday evening, where she was going to tell him that she was calling off the relationship. When they met, Saha allegedly pushed her into his Uber cab and drove to Kasba via EM Bypass. On reaching Kasba, he parked the cab and then tried to rape her. When she resisted, he allegedly thrashed her brutally and threatened to throw an “acid bulb” at her face. Hearing her screams, locals rushed towards them. Saha fled after seeing them approaching the cab, according to the complaint.
The victim has claimed that she first went to Kasba police station, where her complaint was not taken. She then went to Liluah police station, where her complaint was allegedly not entertained either. Finally, she went to the women police station in Howrah, which registered an FIR. As per law, an FIR can be lodged at any police station irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred, after which it is forwarded to the relevant police station.
When The Sunday Express contacted Howrah Police Commissioner D P Singh, he said, “Nobody refused to lodge the FIR. She was taken to the women police station in a vehicle provided by Liluah police. She was escorted by police officers. Keeping the comfort of the victim in mind, we generally register such cases under women police stations.”
“The accused has been arrested. A case was registered under Sections 417 (cheating), 376 (rape) and 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC,” he added.
Claiming that the incident did not indicate any neglect on the part of the cab company, an Uber spokesperson said, “The mentioned incident did not take place while the driver was online on our platform. As per the police complaint, the driver and the victim were known to each other.”
Meanwhile, police sources that when Kasba police got in touch with the victim later to ask her what time she visited their police station to report the incident, she was unable to recall, and said that an individual in civil clothes had directed her to Liluah police station.
“This has come to our knowledge and we are looking into the matter to verify her allegations and trying to trace the person who asked her to go to the other police station,” Deputy Commissioner of South Suburban Division Bandana Varun Chandrasekhar told The Sunday Express.