A photojournalist was gang raped in the Indian city of Mumbai, police said yesterday, evoking comparisons with a similar incident in Delhi in December that led to nationwide protests and a revision of the country’s rape laws.
The attack on Thursday evening triggered protests and 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.
“An FIR [preliminary police report] has been registered — nobody has been arrested so far,” a head constable at the police station dealing with the case said.
Several people were detained for questioning, another policeman said. Some media reports said one man had been arrested.
In rowdy scenes in the upper house of parliament, the opposition accused the government of not doing enough to protect women, despite tougher sex crime laws brought in this year.
The victim, who is in her early twenties, was admitted on Thursday night to a hospital in Mumbai, where she is in a stable condition, a hospital official said by e-mail.
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 neighborhoods of luxury apartments, malls and bars, media reports said. The woman was working on an assignment with a male colleague.
“In the evening, the girl and her colleague were clicking pictures. Two men approached her asking her if she had permission to shoot. Another man then joined in and the photographer was gang raped,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told an Indian television station.
Other reports said more men were involved in the attack.
“We’ve brought in 10 people for questioning. A case of gang rape has been filed,” Singh said.
Several dozen mainly male supporters of the right-wing Shiv Sena political party gathered with flags and banners outside the police station where the case was filed. A further protest was called later in the afternoon.
Women’s safety in India has been in the spotlight this year following the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus 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 Singaporean hospital.
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 Saturday next week. Closing arguments in the trial of the four adult suspects started on Thursday.
Following public outcry over the Delhi attack, India introduced tougher rape laws in March, which include the death penalty for repeat offenders and for those whose victims were left in a “vegetative state.”
In contrast to Delhi, Mumbai has long been considered a safer place for women to travel alone.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big