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Mumbai police search for suspects in photojournalist gang rape

Police in Mumbai are searching for four suspects in the gang rape of a young photojournalist. A case last year, in which a woman died after being gang raped on a bus in New Delhi, drew international media attention.

Sketches of the suspects in the gang rape case circulated through India on Friday, hours after the attack occurred. Police announced they had arrested one suspect and were searching for four other men believed to have been involved in the case.

According to police reports, five men approached the 23-year-old student while she and her male colleague explored an abandoned factory on Thursday evening for a report. The isolated site is located in a fast-growing district of India's business capital.

"In the evening, the girl and her colleague were clicking pictures..Two men approached her asking her if she had permission to shoot. Another man then joined in and the photographer was gang raped," Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters.

The woman's colleague was beaten during the attack.

The victim was in "stable condition," according to the Mumbai hospital where she is currently receiving care. It was not immediately clear if her coworker had been admitted to the hospital.

The latest case of brutal sexual assault came less than a year after a widely reported case in New Delhi. In December, several men gang raped a young woman and beat her male companion on board a moving bus. The woman died several weeks later.

Widespread protests and public outrage motivated Indian lawmakers to introduce more stringent anti-rape laws, including a measure which allows courts to sentence repeat offenders to death. The new law also broadens the definition of sexual assault.

India's law minister called on officials and authorities to deal with the assault "in the most severe fashion," following the news on Friday.

"This country cannot afford to have our women [and] children insecure in the hands of those who attack them," Law Minister Kapil Sibal said.

kms/pfd (AP, AFP, Reuters)