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Police Say One Arrest Made In Gang Rape Of Photojournalist In India

Police officers on Friday inspect the site where a woman in her early 20s was allegedly gang raped in Mumbai, India.
Rafiq Maqbool
Police officers on Friday inspect the site where a woman in her early 20s was allegedly gang raped in Mumbai, India.

Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.

The Times of India, quoting Mumbai police Chief Satyapal Singh, reports that the man who was arrested had confessed and given details of the attack.

The woman's colleague was restrained and then "two of the accused repeatedly raped the girl, turn by turn," Singh says. "There were only two men at first, they called one more, and then called two more. It was a very heinous crime."

He says the other attackers are believed to be in their 20s.

The Times says the alleged victim was interning for an English-language magazine.

McCarthy says preliminary reports suggest the woman sustained internal and external injuries; she is described as being in critical, but stable, condition.

The attack comes as the trial is concluding of four men accused in the gang rape of a 23-year-old Delhi woman in December. She died of her injuries after being lured onto a bus and viciously attacked.

In June, police arrested three men in connection with the rape of a U.S. tourist. The following month, six men were sentenced to life in India after confessing to the gang rape of a Swiss tourist earlier this year.

McCarthy reports that the latest case of sexual assault has prompted small protests in several cities. While demonstrators asked what has changed in the eight months since the uproar over the Delhi gang rape, Thursday's attack became a political football in Parliament, as political parties pointed fingers at one another, asking who is to blame for the rise in rape cases nationwide.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman
Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.