Mumbai attack: Mumbai woman, raped and brutalised in Saki Naka, dies in hospital

An Indian woman allegedly assaulted and raped in Mumbai on Friday has died of her injuries, in a case activists say bears a striking similarity to the brutal 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student that prompted millions of women to push for tougher sexual assault laws in the country.

Mumbai attack: Mumbai woman, raped and brutalised in Saki Naka, dies in hospital

The 32-year-old woman, who was raped and brutally assaulted in Saki Naka early on Friday, succumbed to her injuries on Saturday. The victim fought for 36 hours for life in Rajawadi hospital. The accused has been arrested. He was identified and tracked with the help of CCTV footage within a few hours of the incident. Police said the accused did not reveal whether he had raped the victim before brutally inserting pipe in her private parts.

At around 3.15am on Friday a security guard near Chandivli Studio called the police control room and alerted that a woman was beaten and asked for police help. DCP (Zone X) Maheshwar Reddy said the Sakinaka police team reached the location within 10 minutes and found the injured woman bleeding in a stationed tempo vehicle. She was immediately rushed to the hospital.
The DCP confirmed the woman succumbed due to severe injury for which she had undergone multiple surgeries. According to the doctor's report, the victim got a lacerated wound involving the vagina, perineum and Anus.
"The accused has been booked under the IPC sections for murder, rape, unnatural offence and sexual harassment," said the police. The victim used to live on the roadside and do odd jobs.
The accused is a driver.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma has taken serious cognizance of the incident. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has also taken grave note of the incident and is discussing it with concerned officials while Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said he was shocked over the development.

Police arrested a man on suspicion of rape and murder, after allegedly identifying him from CCTV footage, Nagrale added.
    The man confessed to the crime, Nagrale said during a news conference Monday. He added that a weapon allegedly used during the crime had been recovered. Nagrale said that the victim "belonged to a particular caste" and that the man could face charges under India's Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act, which prohibits discrimination and hate crimes against the country's minority castes and tribes.
    The man is yet to be formally charged and will remain in police custody until September 21.
    Balwant Deshmukh, senior police inspector at Sakinaka police station, told CNN the victim and alleged perpetrator were both homeless. If charged and found guilty, the suspect could face the death penalty.
    Nagrale said Monday that police security will be increased in certain areas of Mumbai, and women traveling alone at night will be provided assistance by patrolling officers.
    Her death cast a spotlight on sexual assault in India, and increased scrutiny on crimes against women. The case marked a turning point in the country, and galvanized millions of women to protest for tougher laws on sexual assault.
    "After Nirbhaya, we thought things would change but we keep hearing of (rape) cases every single day. Not a single day goes by where we don't hear of one," Bhayana said. "As activists, we push and probe the government and nation so much, but when we hear of such brutality, we really feel so helpless. I have no words to describe it."
    India's rape crisis
    According to the latest available figures from India's National Crime Records Bureau, more than 32,000 cases of alleged rape against women were reported in 2019 -- one roughly every 17 minutes. But activists believe the real figure is much higher, as many go unreported out of fear.
    The number of reported rapes has risen since Nirbhaya's death, potentially because of a greater awareness surrounding the issue. Experts say the outrage has helped to lift the shame around discussing rape.
    Legal reforms and more severe penalties for rape were introduced in the aftermath. These include fast-tracking courts to move rape cases through the justice system swiftly, an amended definition of rape to include anal and oral penetration, and the introduction of new guidelines to do away with the two-finger test -- which purportedly assessed whether a woman had sexual intercourse.
    However, high-profile rape cases continue to make headlines. In August, four men were charged with the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in New Delhi. The girl belonged to the country's Dalit community, the most oppressed in Hinduism's caste-based hierarchy.
    In January, a Hindu priest and two of his male followers were arrested for the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 50-year-woman in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. In September last year, the alleged gang rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh sparked protests across the country.
      Bhayana, the activist, urged the nation work together to ensure Indian women are protected.
      "As a nation, we must think of where we stand right now," she said. "It has been almost 10 years since Nirbhaya, but things are still the same. We need to work collectively otherwise nothing will change.

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