Police find rapist's iPhone, evidence links him to Uber

Delhi Police on Wednesday recovered rape accused Shiv Kumar Yadav’s Apple iPhone, provided to him by US-based online ride-hailing service Uber and considered by police as a crucial piece of evidence.

The phone was recovered from Shiv’s native village in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. Police had earlier recovered the other two phones used by Shiv. The iPhone is being considered as vital  evidence in the case filed with Sarai Rohilla police station in north Delhi. 

“It proves that Shiv was working with Uber which will help us prove the culpability of the cab service. It will also prove that Shiv was driving the cab which the rape victim had booked on December 5,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma.

The phone’s GPS coordinates will help the investigating officers to confirm the spot where the victim was picked and the route taken to reach the spot where she was allegedly raped.

The phone will also indicate the time the victim was dropped near her home. Shiv had registered with Uber three months ago after a friend told him about the service. On registration, he was provided a ‘locked down’ 16GB iPhone 4s. 
The only app in the phone was ‘Uber Driver’ which Shiv used to conduct business with Uber. Once signed in and live, Shiv was able to accept rides when they were requested from customers through the app.

Sources said Uber disables most of the iPhone’s features and the driver is left with a handful of iOS apps. Pre-loaded Apple iPhone apps like App Store, iTunes and Safari were hidden and restricted. 

“The restrictions were in place as Uber wanted drivers to do their job, instead of playing around on the phone,” the source added.

Customers used to book a cab through the company's app. The company's San Francisco-based system then sent a message to the driver of a cab nearest to the customer. 

When the cab driver accepted the assignment, his name, photo and  details of the cab like its registration number were sent to the customer through the app.

Shiv’s three-day police custody will end on Thursday, and police say they would not seek an extension. “We have completed our probe and recovered all evidence possible from Shiv,” Verma added. 

He will be produced before Tis Hazari court on Thursday and is likely to be sent to Tihar Jail on judicial custody.

Shiv has told police about the route he took to reach the spot where the woman was raped. He drove from Dhaula Kuan to Naraina, and at Zakhira, he noticed that the woman had dozed off. Shiv then allegedly raped the woman and later dropped her home. 

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