Mumbai, Aug 23 (PTI): Mumbai Police have arrested two of the five accused in Thursday’s gang-rape of a photojournalist, and said the manhunt for the rest is continuing.
Police sources said two of the accused were arrested on Friday morning on the basis of the statement of the victim after a manhunt was launched.
However, senior Congress leader Murli Deora said five suspects have been arrested. “This case has been cracked. Five persons have been arrested and are in the lock-up,” he told reporters.
In Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he had spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner over the case.
Earlier in the day, the police had released the sketches of the five accused as police teams fanned out across the city to track down the perpetrators.
The sketches were prepared on the basis of the description provided by the male friend of the 23-year-old victim, interning as a photojournalist with an English magazine, who was tied up by the accused before they sexually assaulted her.
The accused were said to be in the age group of 24 to 30 years.
Police picked up 20 suspects for questioning in connection with the case.
The condition of the victim, admitted to Jaslok Hospital, is said to be stable.
Preliminary reports suggested that she sustained multiple internal injuries, they said.
Dr Taran Gyanchandani, acting CEO of the hospital, said, ”We are doing the needful...she is under strict observation.”
The woman was allegedly gang-raped at around 8pm on Thursday at the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Lower Parel when she was on an assignment, doing a story on old chawls in the city.
In a chilling reminder of the December gang-rape in Delhi, the men tied up the victim's friend and raped the woman. On December 16 last year, a 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by six men inside a moving bus in Delhi. The victim died in a Singapore Hospital on December 29.
Thursday’s victim, in her statement to the police, said the five assailants present in the Shakti Mills compound passed lewd remarks and began harassing her. When her friend protested, two of them assaulted him, while three others took her inside the dilapidated structure and raped her.
The victim had identified two of the alleged accused as Rupesh and Sajid, the names by which they were addressing each other.