Mumbai gang rape suspects named in earlier attack: Police

Mumbai gang rape suspects named in earlier attack: Police

MUMBAI - Three of the men accused of gang raping a photographer in Mumbai allegedly raped a teenager in the same spot just weeks earlier, the police said on Friday.

Last month, a 22-year-old photographer told the police she was raped by five men while she was on assignment in an abandoned mill compound in central Mumbai, in a case that reignited anger over violence against women in India.

Sketches of the suspects in that attack were published in the media, prompting a 19-year-old telephone operator to come forward to say she was raped there at the end of July by three of the same men, along with two others, the police said.

Like the photographer, the second woman was attacked when she was out with a male friend who was tied up during the rape, police said.

"Three of the accused stopped her, tied up the boy, forced her to a lonely spot and raped her," Deputy Commissioner of Police Vinayak Deshmukh told AFP.

According to the complaint filed this week with a local police station, the teenager was in the area with her boyfriend on July 31 when they took a shortcut to the railway station through the isolated mill compound.

"The call operator left Mumbai after the incident, returning a month later. She did not tell anyone about the rape, as the couple were dating secretly," Mr Deshmukh said.

The police are now hunting for two more offenders in the case and say they will prepare a charge sheet after investigations are complete.

"We are investigating whether these accused have been involved in more such incidences," Mr Deshmukh said.

All five suspects in the photographer's case are being held in custody awaiting trial. They have not yet been formally charged.

The attacks have shocked Mumbai, long considered safer for women than the capital New Delhi, where the fatal gang rape of a student in December sparked nationwide protests and led to a tougher anti-rape law.

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