Mumbai gang-rape victim faints in court

Out on an assignment, a photojournalist was gang-raped by five men in a deserted factory in the heart of the city, evoking comparisons to a similar assault in Delhi in December that led to nationwide protests and a revision of the country's rape laws.

MUMBAI: The 22-year old photo-journalist, whose rape caused a massive outrage across the country, today fainted in court as she was testifying against the men who had raped her in the  deserted Shakti Mills compound near Mahalaxmi in south Mumbai.

The woman was taken to a hospital.

According to reports, a special sessions court on October 11 framed charges against four accused in the Shakti Mills photojournalist gang rape case. The accused were also slapped with another fresh charge under the Information Technology Act for allegedly forcing the victim to watch a pornographic video and asking her to imitate the act.

How the girl was attacked

The attack took place in an abandoned textile mill in Lower Parel, a former industrial district that is now one of the city's fastest-growing neighbourhoods of luxury apartments, malls and bars.

The victim was on an assignment with a male colleague, doing a story on 'chawl' when the offence took place, police said.

According to the police, between 6 and 6:30 pm the victim, along with her colleague went to Shakti Mill compound, where accused told the girl and her male colleague that they were on railway property and photography was not allowed.

The men then called up and spoke to a person who confirmed that the girl could not enter as she has no permission. They said they would help them with a permit.

The boy was tied up with a belt, he was not beaten. The girl was not beaten either, but was taken inside the compound around 20 feet from where the boy was tied up and raped.

Two of the accused repeatedly raped the girl, turn by turn. Rape took place around 6:00 to 6:30 pm, police came to know of it around 8:30 pm.

The police also confirmed that all the five men who were involved in the incident have been identified and out of them, two people are history-sheeters.

But police refused to name the accused as the case was a sensitive one.

In a statement given to police, the girl said the five goons were present in the Shakti Mills compound. They started making lewd remarks and harassed her. When her friend intervened, two of them assaulted him. Three others took her inside the dilapidated structure and raped her.


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