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The investigation into the gang-rape of a woman photojournalist two days ago in Mumbai inched ahead as police nabbed another of the four absconding accused, taking the total arrests to two so far, an official said on Saturday. The accused, whose identity is not yet officially disclosed, was nabbed early Saturday from a video parlour in the congested Madanpura area of south central Mumbai, an official of the N.M. Joshi Marg Police, which is spearheading the probe, said.
One of the accused was nabbed on Friday. Both the men now arrested will be produced before the Bhoiwada Magistrate Court Saturday afternoon. The second absconding accused had been holed up in the Madanpura area since Thursday night, after the gang rape of the intern, who was at work shooting the deserted Shakti Mills Compound, near Mahalaxmi railway station. The incident left the nation stunned.
While one accused was held around noon on Friday, the other four involved had been absconding. Home Minister R.R. Patil said on Friday that the case would be handled by a fast track court to ensure speedy justice to the victim. Describing the incident as horrific , Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh assured media people Friday that all the remaining accused would soon be arrested.
In one of the biggest manhunts launched in the city, 20 teams of local police and Crime Branch personnel have been formed to nab the remaining three absconders. Based on accurate descriptions by the victim and her male colleague who was with her just before the crime occurred, police released sketches of the accused which have been circulated to all police stations in the city and surrounding areas.
As news of the incident spread on Friday, there was widespread condemnation from people of all walks of life -- on the streets, at railway stations and on social networking sites. Several media and social organisations, NGOs and pressure groups as well as the Mumbai Press Club protested at Hutatma Chowk seeking action against the culprits. The opposition targeted the Maharashtra government over what they said was the rising insecurity in the state, especially for women.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Samajwadi Party demanded Home Minister Patil's resignation. Chavan dismissed the demand. In New Delhi, however, the central government sought a detailed report from the state government.
The issue figured prominently in the Rajya Sabha where BJP's Smriti Irani expressed outrage over the incident -- and got the prompt backing of members from across the political spectrum. Jaslok Hospital said the victim underwent a surgical procedure for her injuries. A spokesman said she was recovering well and her condition was stable. She could speak but remained in shock.
Meanwhile the doctors at Jaslok Hospital praised the girl for showing exemplary courage in dealing the ordeal. She was examined under anaesthesia on Friday morning to gauge the nature of her injuries. I want no other woman in this city and country to go through such brutal physical humiliation. The perpetrators should be punished severely as they have ruined my life. No punishment short of a life term will take away my pain and the humiliation and physical abuse I underwent. These were her first words to her mother from the hospital bed according to the TOI demanding life imprisonment for perpetrators.
No country for women?
When the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape had happened, most Mumbai residents had felt that such a horrific incident would never happen in their beloved island city, a safe haven where girls can walk around freely at any time of night without fearing attack. Sadly, the nation s collective masochist and parochial consciousness has reared its ugly head again to remind us that no part of India, not just Delhi or North India, absolutely no part of the country is safe for women. Not Kashmir, where horrific rape stories of women raped by both militants and army men filter in from time to time; not Kolkata which always prided itself about its glorious progressiveness where sexual crimes have gone up exponentially and the CM blames it all on fabricated media stories or the CPM or Maoist activists; not Delhi where two men raped a five-year-old girl and inserted a candle in her vagina to prevent her from bleeding. Even God s own men aren t beyond such heinous crimes as media stories of the alleged rape of a minor girl by popular spiritual leader Asaram Bapu. They aren t even spared in the womb, with sex determination tests helping wiping out female foetuses even before they re born! Read more
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