One held, four identified in Mumbai gangrape

One person has been arrested while four people have been identified for their involvement in Thursday’s brutal gangrape of a woman photojournalist.

One person has been arrested while four people have been identified for their involvement in Thursday’s brutal gangrape of a woman photojournalist whose cries for help went unheard in an abandoned mill, police said here Friday.

Describing the incident as “horrific”, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told mediapersons that the remaining four people would be arrested soon.

“Twenty teams of the local police and Crime Branch have been formed and sketches of the accused have also been released,” Singh told the packed media gathering.

The incident came barely five days after an American woman was attacked and robbed in a suburban local train, raising questions over the safety and security of women in the city.

The photojournalist was on an assignment along with a male colleague in the abandoned Shakti Mills Compound, near Mahalaxmi railway station, when the attack took place.

Recounting the incident based on the statements of the two victims, Singh said that two men first confronted the duo alleging that they were ‘trespassing’ on railway property. Later, they called three other accomplices inside the ruins of the factory.

Claiming to question them, one of them tied up the male colleague with a belt and took the woman away from there — about 20 feet away behind thick undergrowth.

There, the accused allegedly raped the woman, Singh said.

The 22-year old girl, who suffered grievous internal injuries, has been admitted to the Jaslok Hospital along with her colleague and both are in a state of shock.

Her cries for help went unheard in the sprawling mill compound at that late hour and the men — all said to be in their 20s — fled after committing the crime.

The police learnt of the incident only after the victim was admitted to hospital.

Home Minister R.R. Patil visited the two victims undergoing treatment at Jaslok Hospital and enquired about their condition.

“This is a very serious matter and we have taken note of it. We shall arrest the accused soon,” he told the media.

The police commissioner said the breakthrough was made following a statement given by the victim’s male colleague who was present at the time of the incident.

“While one person has been nabbed, four others involved in the incident have been identified and further investigations are underway. They are believed to be living in the vicinity … further probe is on,” he said.

Though the police have identified all the accused, the police commissioner declined to reveal their names.

The incident has led to a furore around the country and also echoed in parliament where it was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Bharatiya Janata Party member Smriti Irani.

In Mumbai, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, while strongly condemning the incident, said it was a blot on the fair image of the state and all efforts would be made to book the culprits.

“The state government will bear all the medical expenses of the victims and also extend all possible help to their family members,” said Chavan.

Taking serious cognizance of the incident, the Mumbai Press Club and other media and social organizations gathered for a protest at the Hutatma Chowk in south Mumbai Friday afternoon.


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