Indian officials promise swift justice in Mumbai gang-rape case

MUMBAI (AFP) - Indian officials on Monday promised swift justice over the gang-rape of a young photographer in Mumbai, as the final suspect appeared in court over the attack that sparked angry protests.

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of raping the 22-year-old woman in central Mumbai on Thursday when she was on assignment for a magazine with a male colleague.

The attack reignited widespread anger at the treatment of women in India that first erupted in December after the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi.

"We will submit a charge sheet in a court of law as soon as possible and the case will be done in a fast-track court," Mumbai's police commissioner Satyapal Singh told reporters.

The chief minister of Maharashtra state, Prithviraj Chavan, has also promised a fast-track case "to ensure speedy justice to the victim".

The final suspect was arrested on Sunday in New Delhi by Mumbai police, over the brutal attack in which the woman's male colleague was allegedly tied up with a belt and the woman raped repeatedly nearby.

The four alleged accomplices were earlier arrested in Mumbai.

Relatives of two of the accused told media they are juveniles but Mr Singh insisted they were all unemployed adults and school drop-outs who were born and grew up in the city.

A court remand sheet shows the men are aged 18 to 27.

Mr Singh said three suspects had criminal records for theft but police did not yet have evidence of any previous rape accusations against them.

The fifth suspect, Mohammed Salim Ansari, 27, was produced before a magistrates' court on Monday, barefoot and wearing a striped shirt. He was remanded in police custody until September 5.

The family of the young woman said on Sunday that they were hopeful of the "severest of punishments" for those responsible after a tougher sex crimes law was introduced in India earlier this year.

The woman is recovering in hospital.

The attack shocked Mumbai, a city that is generally considered safer for women than the capital. But Mr Singh insisted the attack "does not mean that Mumbai is not safe any more".

He called on women to report sex crimes against them, "otherwise the molesters of today will become rapists".