MUMBAI – Mumbai police arrested a fourth suspect Sunday over the gang-rape of a photographer, a crime that reignited anger about women’s safety in India following a similar attack last year.
Police said they were still hunting for a fifth suspect after the gang allegedly raped the woman in her early 20s in the center of India’s financial hub, where she was taking photographs with a male colleague on Thursday evening.
“We made the fourth arrest today and we are certain of getting the fifth soon,” police spokesman Satyanarayan Choudhary told AFP.
Choudhary declined to name the suspect but the Press Trust of India identified him as Kasim Bangali, the oldest among the four held so far, and the report claimed he had allegedly raped the woman twice.
The attack, in an upmarket district of central Mumbai, rekindled memories of the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delh in December. That crime sparked nationwide protests and brought to the surface seething anger about violence against women in India.
Mumbai police made the first arrest on Friday and arrested another two on Saturday, Choudhary said.
Earlier Saturday, one of the suspects was remanded in custody after appearing in court. His grandmother told media he was only 16 and should be tried as a juvenile. Police initially said he was in his 20s.
The woman, reportedly an intern, is undergoing treatment at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital, where staff said she was stable with multiple injuries.
The attack, which dismayed a city seen as far safer for women than the capital, sparked protests in Mumbai and uproar in the national parliament.
The women was attacked while she was on assignment for a magazine, taking photos of the abandoned Shakti Mills factory compound next to a fashionable area of apartment and office blocks, shops and restaurants.
The victim and her male colleague were approached by five men and told they should not be there, after which the colleague was tied up with a belt and the woman was raped nearby, police said.
The incident comes eight months after the student was allegedly gang-raped in a moving bus in New Delhi, while her male companion was beaten up. She died two weeks later from severe injuries.
A trial is in its final stages in that case, which sparked massive protests and led to a tougher rape law.
Since the December incident, dozens of rapes of Indian women and foreign tourists have been highlighted in the media.