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A driver for Uber in Delhi has been accused of a violent rape of a female passengerReuters

A woman in Delhi, India, has alleged she was raped and beaten by a driver working for the US-based taxi service Uber.

The woman, 26, booked the taxi after a social event on Friday night in Vasant Vihar, south Delhi.

She reported that she fell asleep in the back of the vehicle, and was woken by the driver sexually assaulting her.

The alleged attacker has been named as Shiv Kumar Yadav, 32, from Mathura, in India's Uttar Pradesh region.

"I tried to push him away and looked around to find the car at a desolate spot. He slapped me a few times and scratched me on the face and neck during the scuffle," the woman told Times of India. "When I tried to scream, he pressed my mouth and threatened to kill me."

When she fought back, the woman said Yadav beat her, threatened to stab her in the stomach with an iron rod, and then raped her.

After the attack, Yadav is alleged to have recorded her mobile phone's number and dropped her at home, warning he would kill her if she reported the attack.

The woman managed to take a photograph of Yadav's car as he drove away.

Reuters has reported that Delhi police have deployed four five-member search teams to trace Yadav, who has so far evaded capture.

"Our first priority is to arrest the driver and collect the evidence in a scientific manner, so that the victim can get timely justice," Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner with the Delhi police, told Reuters.

Yadav's car was later found abandoned in Uttar Pradesh, a region that has become infamous worldwide after a series of brutal rapes and murders of young women during 2014. However, Yadav has evaded police so far.

San Francisco-based Uber said in a statement on Sunday it had suspended the driver following the allegations and would assist the police. "Safety is Uber's highest priority and in India, we work with licensed driver-partners to provide a safe transportation option," said Uber spokeswoman Evelyn Tay.

Verma, however, said that there has been "a lot of negligence in terms of security" on the part of the company. "There is no GPS (global positioning system) installed in the vehicle and there was no background check or driver verification done with the police."

Delhi recorded the highest number of rapes in India in 2013, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, earning the dubious distinction of being India's "rape capital".

Police attribute the rise in reports to more women coming forward due to greater public awareness following the high-profile gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in December 2012.

The ride-sharing service Uber, based in San Francisco, has engaged in rapid and aggressive expansion worldwide during the last 12 months.