Men sentenced to death for gang rape in Mumbai

Friday 04 April 2014 22.49
Mohammed Salim Ansari who has been sentenced to death is taken to court in Mumbai
Mohammed Salim Ansari who has been sentenced to death is taken to court in Mumbai

Three men have been sentenced to death for two gang-rapes last year in the Indian capital Mumbai, including an attack on a photojournalist.

The attack sparked protests in the city and raised fresh questions about attitudes to women in the world's largest democracy.

A Mumbai court today sentenced Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali and Mohammed Salim Ansari to death, the first time capital punishment has been given for rape not involving the death of the victim.

"There was no chance of reformation in these men and this sends a strong signal to society," special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters outside the court.

Women's safety in India has been under the spotlight since the gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi in 2012.

The attack provoked nationwide protests and the introduction of tougher sexual assault laws.

However, a stream of high-profile attacks has raised concerns that little has changed.

In the Mumbai case, four men were convicted last week of gang-raping the photojournalist.

The woman was attacked in the early evening of 22 Aug, while on an assignment with a male colleague at an abandoned textile mill.

Three of them were given the death penalty because they had also been found guilty of raping another woman at the same location in July.

The fourth man received a life sentence and a juvenile charge for his involvement in the case is being tried separately.

"I think the court has given a distinct, definite and welcome verdict," said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police in Mumbai.

The attack on the photojournalist provoked a public outcry partly because Mumbai, India's financial capital and the home of Bollywood, is considered one of the country's safest cities for women.