The Kolkata Police on Wednesday arrested two drivers working with ride-hailing service Ola Cabs for allegedly raping and murdering a twelve-year-old girl in the city. According to Hindustan Times, Shankar Shaw and Guddu Singh forced the girl into their car and raped her near the Park Circus flyover before strangulating her and throwing her body into a nearby canal.
A police officer said that the two had consumed alcohol before abducting the minor, who lived on the pavement of Brabourne Road. Another official said that the police “received information” about the abduction and tracked down the number of the vehicle through a traffic control room. “They have admitted to the crime,” the officer said. However, Ola issued a statement claiming that "this incident has not occurred while on the Ola platform", and that the company has been cooperating with the investigation.
This is not the first reported incident of crimes against women by drivers from similar services. Last October, a Delhi court found Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav guilty of raping a 25-year-old woman in December 2014. In January this year, another Uber driver was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman journalist who was on her way from Delhi to Noida. Another Ola Cabs driver was taken into custody for allegedly raping a woman in Bhopal in the same month.
Taxi aggregators have been criticised for these incidents, with activist Abha Singh accusing companies such as Uber and Ola of not being concerned about the safety of woman passengers.