MUMBAI: Mumbai’s top court on Thursday commuted the death sentences of three men convicted in a rape case that heightened public outrage over women’s safety in India.
The assault in 2013 followed another high-profile gang-rape case the previous year that left a woman dead in New Delhi, sparking nationwide protests resulting in tougher anti-rape laws.
The three men in Mumbai, along with two accomplices, trapped and repeatedly raped a 22-year-old photojournalist while she was on assignment at an abandoned factory compound.
The Shakti Mills complex stands next to a fashionable area of apartments, office blocks, shops and restaurants in India’s financial centre.
The attack dismayed residents of Mumbai, a metropolis considered far safer for women than the capital New Delhi, sparking protests in the city and uproar in the national parliament. Mumbai police arrested all five within a week of the incident.
It prompted a 19-year-old telephone operator to come forward and accuse the trio of also raping her in the same place a month earlier, along with two different accomplices.
All seven accused — two of them juveniles — were convicted over the two rapes.
The 2012 New Delhi case prompted a change in the law to make repeat rapists eligible for the death penalty.
Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021