Mumbai police arrest second man in gang-rape case

Mumbai police arrested a second man Saturday on accusations of gang-raping a woman photographer in the Indian financial hub -- an attack that has renewed anger over the country's treatment of women.

Echoing a similar assault in New Delhi in December that sparked nationwide protests, five men are alleged to have raped the woman, in her early 20s, in central Mumbai when she was on a magazine assignment with a male colleague on Thursday evening.

Officers arrested the first suspect on Friday and a second arrest was made overnight, police spokesman Satyanarayan Choudhary told AFP, without giving further details.

The attack, which shocked a city seen as far safer for women than the capital, sparked outrage on social media sites, uproar in the Indian parliament and protests in Mumbai and elsewhere.

Sonia Gandhi, president of India's ruling Congress party, added her voice to the concerns on Saturday, saying she was "saddened and pained" over the case.

"It is a heinous crime," she told reporters in the capital.

The young woman, reportedly a journalism intern, was taken for treatment at Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital, where staff said that she was in stable condition with internal and external injuries.

"While we may still believe that Mumbai is a safe city for women, today that belief lies badly bruised," said a front-page editorial in the Mumbai Mirror on Saturday.

The latest attack "only reaffirms Mumbai's rapidly declining safety record and its decaying moral core", the Mirror said.

The local Mid-Day newspaper, under the headline "Real change needed", said that the challenge is "to build society that looks at women as equal citizens".

The incident comes eight months after a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped by five men in a moving bus in New Delhi, while her male companion was beaten up. She died two weeks later from severe injuries.

A trial is in its final stages in the New Delhi case, which sparked massive protests and led to a tougher rape law.

The Mumbai gang-rape took place in an abandoned mill compound next to a fashionable area of apartment and office blocks, shops and restaurants.

The pair of photographers were approached by members of the group and told they should not be there, after which the man was tied up with a belt and the woman was raped repeatedly nearby, Mumbai's police commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters.

He described the attack as "a shameful and extremely disturbing event".

Police say they have identified the three remaining suspects after releasing their sketches to the public and 20 special teams have been formed as part of the search.

The first suspect appeared on Saturday before a Mumbai court, where political groups protested loudly outside. He was remanded in police custody until August 30, reports said.

His grandmother has told the media that he is aged only 16, although police initially said he was in his early 20s. They now say he is an unemployed 19-year-old, according to local media reports.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan told India's NDTV news that the attack was "incredibly horrid".

"This is a city that prides itself on women feeling secure -- this (assault) breaches all social norms... something is going wrong with us," he said.