Mumbai Gang Rape Victim Improves, May Go Home

Family requests privacy for victim as authorities vow maximum penalties for perpetrators

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Indian Muslim women hold posters during a protest march against the gang-rape of a female photographer in Mumbai on August 26, 2013

The condition of the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped in Mumbai last Thursday continues to improve, and her family is considering taking her home from hospital, NDTV reports.

“Rape is not the end of life,” the young woman courageously told press outlets. Her family released a statement on Aug. 25 requesting privacy and “breathing space.”

The Police have arrested five men accused of the gang rape and one of them has confessed to committing the crime, Times of India reported. “The accused took my pictures and threatened [me] not to tell anyone. One of them then took out sharp pieces of a broken beer bottle and threatened me,” the young woman said in an official statement to the police describing the attack, which took place at an abandoned textile mill.

In a statement to Parliament, India’s home minister said the state government “has assured that they will ensure maximum punishment will be served to the guilty.” However, opposition politicians went on the attack, accusing the government of failing to do enough to stop sex attacks on women. Sexual violence has come under the spotlight in India since a horrific gang rape in Delhi last December left a woman dead and her male companion badly beaten.

As protests ripple through India after another shockingly similar incident, Mumbai’s Police Commissioner echoed the home minister’s words and said the police would ensure the men receive maximum penalties.

Meanwhile, reports that one of the main accused was a police informer have emerged after records show dozens of calls to Mumbai’s Crime Branch over the last couple of months.

[New York Times]