x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fifth man arrested over gang rape of journalist

Police have arrested the last of five men wanted in the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai, saying charges would be filed soon in a case that has incensed the public and fuelled debate over whether women can be safe in India.

NEW DELHI // Police yesterday arrested the last of five men wanted in the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai, and said charges would be filed soon in a case that has incensed the public and fuelled debate over whether women can be safe in India.

The victim, a 22-year-old Indian woman, said she was anxious to return to work after Thursday night's assault, in which five men repeatedly raped her while her male colleague was beaten and tied up in an abandoned textile mill in the country's financial capital.

"Rape is not the end of life," the woman told the Times of India. A statement from Jaslok Hospital, where she has been since the attack, said her condition was being monitored but that she was "much better" and was being visited by family. Indian law forbids identifying rape victims by name.

Police arrested the fifth suspect yesterday in New Delhi, the capital, after rounding up the other four in Mumbai.

"We will file a comprehensive charge sheet soon," said Mumbai's police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, assuring that police had the evidence to prosecute the suspects, including the victim's testimony and medical samples taken at the hospital after the assault.

People across India were shocked and shamed in December by the brutal gang rape in New Delhi of a 23-year-old student who died two weeks later from her injuries. Pledging to crack down, the federal government created fast-track courts for rape cases and doubled prison terms for rape.

Under intense pressure, police have acted quickly to hunt down the five suspects in the Mumbai case. Home Minister R R Patil visited investigators at a Mumbai police station on Saturday night.