External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj sought on Sunday a report from Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on the alleged molestation of a 23-year-old Belgian woman by an Ola cab driver in Delhi.
The woman was allegedly molested in southeast Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park area on Saturday night, an incident that led to the Opposition questioning AAP government’s steps to ensure women’s safety in the national capital.
The accused, Raj Singh of Rajasthan’s Alwar district, was arrested on Sunday and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Ola has terminated the driver from its platform.
Swaraj, who is being treated for pneumonia in a hospital, tweeted that the central government was committed to the safety of all foreign nationals in the country. In Delhi, the police department functions under the Centre.
I have asked Lt Governor Delhi for a report on the molestation of a Belgian girl by a Cab driver. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 8, 2016
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress targeted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over the incident, citing a spike in crime against women under the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit asked: “Be it molestation or rape, Delhi has seen an increase in such crimes and they have risen all the more under the Kejriwal dispensation. I want him (Kejriwal) and his ministers to focus on women’s security. Where else will women feel safe if not the national capital?”
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi assembly, Vijender Gupta, demanded a thorough investigation into the incident. The AAP government has “gone back” on its promise to ramp up women’s safety, he alleged, referring to Kejriwal’s 2015 election promise.
The woman, who identified herself as a translator, told police that she had booked the cab from Gurgaon on the outskirts of the city and during the journey the cab driver allegedly molested her.
“The driver deliberately took the wrong route after Hauz Khas and when the woman told him that she will ask her friend, he took her phone and deleted all the records related to Ola,” a senior police official said.
The fatal gangrape of a student in Delhi in 2012 led to nationwide protests and tougher anti-rape laws but incidents of sexual abuse have not dwindled in India, experts say.
Last year, a former Uber driver was held guilty of raping a 25-year-old financial analyst in 2014, a case that had led to a temporary ban on the online taxi-hailing service in the Capital.