'Rape is not the end of life': Photojournalist sexually assa Aug 25, 2013 9:41:38 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 25, 2013 9:41:38 GMT
A photojournalist who was gang raped by five men in Mumbai has said she wants to return to work as soon as possible.
Speaking from her hospital bed, the 22-year-old survivor sent a message of defiance and hope by saying 'rape is not the end of life'.
'I want the strictest punishment for all the accused and want to join duty as early as possible,' she told the Press Trust of India.
Doctors have said the young woman has shown 'great presence of mind' since the sexual assault on Thursday.
The attack took place in an abandoned textile mill in Lower Parel, a gritty former industrial district that is now one of the city's fastest-growing neighbourhoods of luxury apartments, malls and bars.
Composite sketches of the suspects : Police said the victim was on assignment to take pictures of an abandoned textile factory in south Mumbai late yesterday when the five men confronted her
The case has brought back bad memories of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country.
The woman was working on an assignment with a male colleague to take pictures of the factory last night when five men confronted the pair.
After initially offering to help her get permission to shoot inside the building, they became aggressive and accused the male colleague of being involved in a local crime.
When he denied any involvement they tied his hands with a belt and took the woman to another part of the building compound and took turns raping her, said Mumbai's Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh.
The police chief said officers have already arrested two suspects over the attack and he has named and identified the other three.
Police from India's elite crime branch are now hunting the remaining men and have released sketches.
A policeman stands guard at the scene in Mumbai's Mahalaxmi area: Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters that the men tied the victim's colleague's hands with a belt while she was gang raped
The assault comes amid heightened concerns about sexual violence in India.
The gang rape and death of the student on a bus in New Delhi in December had shaken a country long inured to violence against women and sparked protests demanding better protection for women.
In response, the government passed a new stringent law increasing prison terms for rape and making voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women punishable under criminal law.
The trials of the four men and one juvenile accused of the December attack are expected to conclude within the next three weeks.
The verdict on the juvenile suspect is set for August 31. Closing arguments in the trial of the four adult suspects started on Thursday.
'Rape is not the end of life':Female photojournalist gang raped by group in Mumbai : Video
The police have released sketches of the suspects wanted over yesterday's attack based on descriptions given by the woman and her colleague, and have formed several teams to track them.
CSI Mumbai : The attack took place in an abandoned textile mill in Lower Parel, a gritty former industrial district that is now one of the city's fastest-growing neighbourhoods
Commissioner Singh said the area where the attack took place was very isolated and the men may have been local drug dealers.
The attack was discussed in India's Parliament, where junior Home Minister R.P.N. Singh told lawmakers that the government had asked the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, for a detailed report on the attack.
About 1,000 people, including members of several local journalists' associations, gathered this evening in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading 'Stop rape' and 'City of shame'.
We want justice: Female Indian photojournalists are supported by male colleagues during a protest rally in Mumbai against the gang rape
Anger: About 1,000 people joined the protest, according to the Associated Press
In contrast to Delhi, Mumbai has long been considered a safer place for women to travel alone, even at night.
'(Mumbai) has this sense of security ... but these things make us feel that maybe we are not really that safe,' said A. L. Sharada, director of Population First, an NGO that works on women's rights issues.
'Women should be able to move freely and take up work. Why should we be worrying about something bad happening to us all the time?' Ms Sharada added.
Commissioner Singh said the federal government had recommended that the 'harshest' punishment be handed down to anyone found guilty in the case.
Sit back, take a breath and allow yourself to heal ... my thoughts and very best wishes are with you, God bless - Fx