Reblogged By: La Tray
Source: Daily Mail
Posted: Sunday August 25, 2013 @3:34 a.m. PST
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Photojournalist, 22, is gang-raped in Mumbai while male colleague is tied up and beaten
- Victim and colleague were on assignment to photograph abandoned factory
- Five men initially offered to help, but then became aggressive
- They tied up the victim’s colleague with a belt then took turns raping her
- In contrast to Delhi, Mumbai has been seen as a safe place for women
A young photojournalist was gang raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in India’s business hub of Mumbai, police said.
The case has brought back bad memories of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country.
The attack took place in an abandoned textile mill in Lower Parel, a gritty former industrial district that is now one of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods of luxury apartments, malls and bars.
The woman was working on an assignment with a male colleague to take pictures of the factory last night when five men confronted the pair.
After initially offering to help her get permission to shoot inside the building, they became aggressive and accused the male colleague of being involved in a local crime.
When he denied any involvement they tied his hands with a belt and took the woman to another part of the building compound and took turns raping her, said Mumbai’s Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh.
The police chief said officers have already arrested one suspect over the attack and he has named and identified the other four.
The woman, 22, is in stable condition in a hospital.
The assault comes amid heightened concerns about sexual violence in India.
The gang rape and death of the student on a bus in New Delhi in December had shaken a country long inured to violence against women and sparked protests demanding better protection for women.
In response, the government passed a new stringent law increasing prison terms for rape and making voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law.
The trials of the four men and one juvenile accused of the December attack are expected to conclude within the next three weeks.
The verdict on the juvenile suspect is set for August 31. Closing arguments in the trial of the four adult suspects started on Thursday.
The police have released sketches of the suspects wanted over yesterday’s attack based on descriptions given by the woman and her colleague, and have formed several teams to track them.
Commissioner Singh said the area where the attack took place was very isolated and the men may have been local drug dealers.
The attack was discussed in India’s Parliament, where junior Home Minister R.P.N. Singh told lawmakers that the government had asked the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, for a detailed report on the attack.
About 1,000 people, including members of several local journalists’ associations, gathered this evening in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading ‘Stop rape’ and ‘City of shame’.
In contrast to Delhi, Mumbai has long been considered a safer place for women to travel alone, even at night.
‘(Mumbai) has this sense of security … but these things make us feel that maybe we are not really that safe,’ said A. L. Sharada, director of Population First, an NGO that works on women’s rights issues.
‘Women should be able to move freely and take up work. Why should we be worrying about something bad happening to us all the time?’ Ms Sharada added.
Commissioner Singh said the federal government had recommended that the ‘harshest’ punishment be handed down to anyone found guilty in the case.
TO READ MORE: Photojournalist Gang Raped In Mumbai