Millennium Post

Four charged in Mumbai scribe’s gang-rape case

Four men were formally charged on Thursday in a Mumbai court over the gang-rape of a young photographer in the city last month, a case that reignited anger about women’s safety across India.

A charge sheet was filed separately against the juvenile accomplice of the accused before a juvenile court.

The accused have been charge-sheeted under various sections of IPC including 376(d) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offence), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) among others.

A 600-page charge sheet was filed in a magistrate’s court lists details of the attack, citing 86 witnesses and DNA evidence.

The four suspects, arrested within days of the attack, appeared at the Esplanade court barefooted and looking dishevelled. One wore a T-shirt and jeans while the rest were in shirts and trousers.

They were charged with at least five offences including gang-rape, unnatural sex, illegal confinement, destruction of evidence, and conspiracy over the attack on 22 August.

A fifth suspect, who was under 18 at the time of the offence, is expected to be charged separately in a juvenile court.
The 22-year-old photographer was repeatedly raped while she was on an assignment taking photos in an abandoned mill compound in central Mumbai.

A male colleague accompanying her was also beaten and tied up with a belt while she was assaulted and threatened with a broken beer bottle, police say.

The next hearing in the case was announced for Monday. The attack sparked outrage in the financial hub on Mumbai, which has long been thought of as safer for women than the capital New Delhi, where the fatal gang-rape of a young woman in December shook the nation.

Last week, a court convicted four adult suspects in the Delhi case and sentenced them to death, which the judge said was justified to deter other would-be rapists from attacking women.

Though the Delhi and Mumbai cases have garnered widespread media attention, gang-rapes and brutal sexual assaults are reported daily in newspapers.
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