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Cab drivers protest ban on Uber’s operations

Hundreds of cab drivers employed with internet-based taxi firm Uber today staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding revocation of the ban imposed on the company’s operations in the national capital.

According to the protesters, their livelihood is getting affected because of the ban imposed on the company following alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman by one of its drivers.

Ranjit Ray, who has been working with the company since it started services in Delhi, said that Uber’s operations were transparent and it also helped many of the drivers get finance from banks to buy their own cars, thereby reducing the scope of their exploitation.

“Uber helped me get a loan and I bought my own car two months back. It made me independent. The company has always thought about the welfare of its drivers unlike others. We have been driving taxis for the past so many years. Just because one person has wronged, it is not justified that we all suffer and our only source of livelihood is snatched,” he said.

Naresh Mehta, who also works for Uber, said the accused driver had an All India Tourist Permit, which is a necessity for any commercial driver in India.

“To get the permit, an applicant needs a driver’s badge, issued by the state government after a background check for criminal history. How could the case of rape filed against him went unnoticed during the verification by the state government? Is it (government) not at fault too?,” he said.

“I have a daughter too and we know what the victim and her family is going through. Shiv Kumar Yadav should be punished. But then, we want that all the formalities and checks required for the company’s registration to be carried out so that it can operate in the city,” he added.

Another driver employed with the company said, “Yadav’s permit was based on forged documents which clearly indicates the malpractices prevalent in the government departments”.

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