NEW DELHI — A 22-year-old photojournalist was gang-raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in an isolated, overgrown corner of India’s business hub of Mumbai, police said Friday.
The case was reminiscent of the December gang rape and death of a university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country.
The latest attack took place Thursday evening in Lower Parel, a onetime textile manufacturing neighborhood of south Mumbai that over the past decade has changed dramatically. Today, upscale malls, trendy restaurants, and super-luxury condominiums sit side-by-side with abandoned textile mills and sprawling slums.
Police said the woman was on assignment for a magazine to take pictures of the neighborhood when five men confronted her and her colleague about 7 p.m. After initially offering to help her get permission to shoot inside a crumbling, isolated building, the men became aggressive and accused the male colleague of being involved in a local crime.
When he denied the accusation, they tied his hands with a belt and took the woman to another part of the compound and took turns raping her, Mumbai’s police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, told reporters.
Police on Friday arrested a suspect in the attack who named and identified the other four men, Singh said.
While police have released sketches of the four men, Singh would not give their names or other details, saying authorities did not want to give them any warning that they were being sought. Singh said the men may have been local drug dealers.
The woman was in stable condition in a hospital. Police declined to say who she was working for.
The assault comes amid heightened concerns about sexual violence in India. The gang rape and death of the student on a bus in New Delhi in December had shaken a country long inured to violence against women and sparked protests demanding better protection for women.