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Police arrest two more suspects over Mumbai gang rape

Police search arrest three of the five men they say took part in the assault that reignited public fury over sexual violence in India. Samanth Subramanian reports from New Delhi

Members of the All Assam Photojournalist Association wear black sashes around their mouths during a protest against the rape of a photojournalist on Saturday. Utpal Baruah / Reuters
Members of the All Assam Photojournalist Association wear black sashes around their mouths during a protest against the rape of a photojournalist on Saturday. Utpal Baruah / Reuters

NEW DELHI // Mumbai police yesterday arrested two more suspects in connection with the gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist and promised more arrests soon.

Vijay Jadhav, 19, was arrested just before dawn in the Madanpura area of Mumbai. Satyapal Singh, Mumbai's police commissioner, said Mr Jadhav "has given information about the others on the run, and we will apprehend them soon".

Mr Singh said Mr Jadhav had confessed to the rape.

Police arrested a third suspect later on Saturday, Mr Singh said without elaborating.

Five men took part in the assault at an abandoned textile mill on Thursday, which has reignited public fury over sexual violence that was triggered by a gang rape and murder in Delhi last year.

The protests that erupted across Mumbai on Friday subsided yesterday, as police officials promised swift action.

The man arrested last Friday, Chand Abdul Sattar, appeared in court yesterday and was remanded to police custody until Friday.

The victim, who suffered internal and external injuries, was in a stable condition at Jaslok Hospital.

Police have set up 20 teams to search for the other two men, a show of force prompted by the outrage over the rape in a city that was considered one of the safest for women in the country.

Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress, which leads India's coalition government, said: "It is a heinous crime … I am shocked and sad. It should not have happened."

More details about the gang rape emerged in the Indian media, nearly all of them attributed to anonymous police sources.

In the Mid-Day tabloid, a report described how the five men took turns raping the victim, who was an intern at a magazine. One of the men held a broken beer bottle to her neck, threatening to cut her if she resisted.

The men also took photographs of her on a mobile phone, warning that they would release the photos if she complained to the police.

Meanwhile, the grandmother of Mr Sattar said that he was 16 years old and should be tried as a minor.

But police said Mr Sattar was 19. Doctors will perform a bone density test to determine his age.

In India, minors are tried by a juvenile justice board. One of the accused in the Delhi gang-rape case last December, in which a 23-year-old student was raped on a bus and died later in hospital, was also a minor. A juvenile justice board is expected to give the verdict in his trial on Saturday.

ssubramanian@thenational.ae