A photojournalist has been gang-raped in India’s financial hub of Mumbai, evoking comparisons to a similar assault eight months ago in New Delhi which triggered nationwide protests.
The latest incident took place late on Thursday in an isolated part of a central upmarket district of Mumbai where the 23-year-old woman was doing a magazine story on old buildings in the area with a male colleague, a police officer told AFP news agency.
“The men beat up the man, tied him up and raped the woman in a secluded part of the Shakti Mills area,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.
The woman is undergoing treatment at a city hospital and has identified two of the accused by their first names, which she heard them calling each other, police said.
The Mumbai police has claimed that they have arrested one of the five suspects hours after a sketch of him was released, local television news station NDTV reported.
Hospital officials were not immediately available for comment, but preliminary reports suggested the victim sustained multiple internal injuries, the police officer added.
The attack on Thursday evening caused an outcry on social media, with many users shocked that it took place in Mumbai, widely considered to be India’s safest city for women.
Women’s safety in India has been in the spotlight this year following the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in New Delhi in December, which led thousands of Indians to take to the streets in protest.
The woman died of her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
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 due to be passed on August 31. Closing arguments in the trial of the four adult suspects started on Thursday.
About 25,000 rape cases in the country were reported last year alone, of which 706 were reported in the Indian capital New Delhi, making it the city with the highest number of rapes and confirming its reputation as India’s “rape capital”.
Mumbai, known for being more women-friendly, recorded 232 rapes last year, according to the National Crimes Record Bureau.
Most rapes reported were committed by people known to the victims. In fact, 98 percent of those who reported rapes last year named parents, relatives and neighbours as the accused.