22-Year-Old Photojournalist Gang Raped in Mumbai

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 23 2013 11:39 AM

22-Year-Old Photojournalist Gang Raped in Mumbai

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Indian members of a social organisation Our City Our Right hold posters during a silent protest following the recent gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old college student in Barasat, in Kolkata on June 15, 2013

Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

The shocking and terrible news of yet another brutal gang-rape in India is causing outrage around the world today. On Thursday evening, a 22-year-old Indian photojournalist was gang-raped in Mumbai while her male colleague was tied up and beaten, according to authorities. The incident took place in an isolated neighborhood of the industrial city — more specifically, at the Shakti Mills, a now-abandoned textile building. The Washington Post has more on the details of the brutal attack:

Police said the Indian woman was on assignment for a magazine to take pictures of the neighborhood when five men confronted her and her colleague at 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 involvement in the crime, 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.
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As of Friday, one suspect had been arrested and the four others have been named, with sketches of the men being released to the public. Police suspect the men to be drug dealers.

Currently, the young woman—said to be an intern with an unnamed Mumbai-based English magazine, according to the BBC—is reportedly in stable condition at the hospital, which is very good news considering the outcome of last December's gang-rape in Delhi. As you may recall, a 23-year-old medical student died last year after a group of six men gang raped her on a bus in the nation's capital. The men, who also brutally assaulted her male friend, were charged with murder.

At the time, the incident shocked the country, sparking angry protests and candlelight vigils that eventually led to legislation being passed in the Indian government. As the Post notes, the government, as a result, "passed a stringent law increasing prison terms for rape and making voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law."

Jennifer Lai is an associate editor at Slate. Slate Plus members, email her here.