MUMBAI : One person has been arrested and four people have been identified for their involvement in the brutal gang rape of a woman photojournalist at an abandoned mill, a police official said Friday.
Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said the breakthrough was possible following a statement given by the victim’s male colleague who was present at the time of the incident Thursday.
“While one person has been nabbed, four others involved in the incident have been identified and further investigations are underway,” Singh told the media here.
Police came to know about it after the victim was taken to a hospital.
Though police have identified all the accused, Singh declined to reveal their names.
Speaking to reporters, CEO Jaslok Hospital Dr Tarang Giachandani said that the victim is stable even though she suffered internal and external injuries. . She underwent minor surgical procedure, is now in recovery, not in the ICU.
Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray demanded the removal of State Home minister R R Patil over rape of the photojournalist. Thackeray called Patil “an incapable home minister” who is shielded by his leader NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sainiks protested the incident outside the N M Joshi Marg police station, demand capital punishment for rapists.
Earlier, sketches of the five suspects were prepared on the basis of the description provided by the victim’s male colleague, who was tied up by the accused before they assaulted the woman. The accused were apparently in 24 to 30 years age group.
The 22-year-old photojournalist with an English magazine was allegedly gang-raped while on a photography assignment in the abandoned Shakti Mills Compound in Mahalaxmi around 6.30 p.m. Thursday.
In a chilling reminder of the December gang-rape in Delhi, the men tied up the victim’s friend and raped the woman.
Earlier, police said they had picked up about 20 people for questioning.
In a statement given to police, the girl said the five goons were present in the Shakti Mills compound. They started making lewd remarks and harassed her. When her friend intervened, two of them assaulted him. Three others took her inside the dilapidated structure and raped her.
“After the duo clicked photos for around half an hour, two youths emerged there and asked if they had valid permission for clicking photos. Then they offered to take them to the right authority, when three more joined the earlier two youths and in the process separated them. While the hand and legs of the male colleague were tied and he was gagged, the accused raped the girl,” said Vinayak Deshmukh, deputy commissioner of police, Zone III.
The victim has been admitted to Jaslok Hospital. Preliminary reports suggested that she sustained multiple internal injuries, they said.
Dr Taran Gyanchandani, acting CEO of the hospital, said, “We are doing the needful…she is under strict observation.” A gangrape case has been registered in NM Joshi Marg police station.
The statement of the victim’s friend has been recorded, police said.
They claimed the victim has identified two of the accused by their names. She told police that two of them were calling each other as Rupesh and Sajid, they said, adding that some drug addicts have been picked up from the area for questioning.
Maharashtra home minister RR Patil had visited the victim at Jaslok hospital.
“This is a very serious matter. We have taken note of it. The accused will be arrested soon,” Patil told reporters outside the hospital.
He said Mumbai Police commissioner Satyapal Singh has been directed to ensure that the culprits are arrested soon. (Agencies)