Police probing the alleged gang-rape of a 23-year-old female photojournalist on Thursday in the western Indian city of Mumbai had arrested two suspects as of Saturday as the incident sparked widespread outrage throughout the country.
A 19-year-old suspect, who was arrested on Friday, appeared in a Mumbai court and will remain in police custody until Aug. 30. Police officials said the suspect, who was arrested on Saturday, has divulged information about the others involved in the attack, and the police department has gathered evidence against the suspects.
“We have arrested a second suspect in the gang-rape case, and he has confessed to his involvement. The probe is heading in the right direction and we hope to arrest all other absconding suspects soon,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said.
Singh said the condition of the woman, who is undergoing treatment for multiple internal and external injuries, is improving.
Meanwhile, lawmakers, politicians, celebrities, journalists and women’s groups expressed anguish over the incident, which was reminiscent of the brutal gang-rape of a woman on Dec. 16 on a bus in India’s capital, New Delhi, which spurred nationwide protests and calls for reforms to ensure women’s safety in the country.
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Hundreds of people, including several journalists, gathered in Mumbai to stage a protest, holding signs that read, “city of shame” and “stop rape,” PTI reported.
The central government said it asked for a report from the Mumbai police department about the incident.
“First of all, what happened in Mumbai is a matter concerning that state," Minister of Home Affairs Sushil Kumar Shinde said. "In spite of that, I have spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner. The investigation is progressing.”
The woman was raped on Thursday evening by a group of five men inside a decrepit building in Lower Parel in central Mumbai, while she was out on an assignment with a male colleague. The colleague was beaten up and restrained before the woman was attacked and raped.