Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
Mumbai: Even as the family of the young photo-journalist was grappling with the tragedy that has struck their daughter, they issued a statement to the media on Sunday asking them to respect the privacy of their child.
While thanking the Mumbai police for their support, they expressed hope that "severest of punishment" would be meted out to the culprits, so that "even the most sick-minded would think twice before they act in such an inhuman and insensitive way."
They also hoped for the continued support of the media in "the fight for justice" for their daughter and "women at large in India."
In a statement which was full of emotions and reflected their pathos, they requested everyone not to visit their residence, "We live in a society where such actions will only make it more difficult for us to get back to a normal life. This can also impact my daughter`s life and become an impediment in our struggle to regain our sanity and composure."
In an incident that shocked and outraged the whole nation, the photo-journalist was allegedly raped by five men on August 22 in the most horrific manner. She was out on an assignment to Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi at around six in the evening and was accompanied by a male friend.
The rapists thrashed and tied the male friend and took turns to rape the victim. Her ordeal continued for about 30 minutes. The Mumbai incident has an uncanny resemblance to the December 16 gang-rape in Delhi last year, when a para-medical student was brutally raped by six men in a moving bus. The victim subsequently died in a Singapore hospital.
Doctors have said that the Mumbai rape survivor is stable and recovering slowly. Showing exemplary courage and strength she said that while she would want to see her tormentors behind bars for life, rape was not the end of life. She added that she would like to continue in her profession.
Meanwhile, all the five accused have been arrested by the police.