Mumbai gang-rape victim faints while deposing, to continue Friday

Mumbai, Oct 17 (IANS) A photo-journalist, victim of gang rape in a deserted mill, fainted while making her deposition before a court here Thursday and was taken to a local hospital, a legal official said. She will now give her testimony Friday.

"During her four-hour-long deposition, she suddenly complained of nausea and giddiness and could not stand properly in the witness box. Accordingly, I requested that the proceedings be stopped and she should be taken to a hospital," Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told IANS.

By evening, her condition was "perfectly normal" and she will come for the further in-camera (closed to public) deposition before the court again Friday, Nikam added.

The incident took place in the desolate Shakti Mills compound Aug 22 where the 23-year-old had gone on assignment along with a male colleague. He was assaulted and tied up while she was brutally gangraped by five youths, including a minor.

The victim was accompanied by her mother to the sessions court here where the trial is being conducted.

Nikam said that she identified four of the five accused and also narrated the entire horrific incident clearly and confidently as her mother sat nearby.

Tense throughout the deposition, she also identified the pornographic clip shown during the brutal sexual assault by the four accused - who stood in the court without showing any remorse, he said.

However, after she complained of nausea and giddiness and was taken to a hospital, Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi adjourned the matter till Friday.

Nikam said her deposition is likely to be completed Friday, but she will be required to repeat the entire story in another court where the fifth accused, the juvenile, will be tried separately.

The four prime accused - Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari, Siraj Rehman and Vijay Jadhav - have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and charges under the Information Technology Act.

Investigating the case on priority, the Mumbai police filed the first charge sheet Sep 19, in a record 28 days after the incident.

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