MUMBAI: Four men were formally charged Thursday in a Mumbai court over the gang rape of a young photographer in the city, a case that reignited anger about women's safety across India.
Crime branch officers filed a chargesheet laying out their case against the men at the Esplanade Court in south Mumbai over the attack on August 22.
A fifth suspect, who was under 18 at the time of the offence, is expected to be charged separately in a juvenile court.
The 22-year-old photographer was repeatedly raped while she was on assignment taking photos in an abandoned mill compound in central Mumbai.
A male colleague accompanying her was also beaten and tied up with a belt while she was assaulted and threatened with a broken beer bottle, police say.
The next hearing in the case was announced for Monday.
The attack sparked outrage in the financial hub Mumbai, which has long been thought of as safer for women than the capital New Delhi, where the fatal gang-rape of a young woman in December shook the nation.
Last week, a court convicted four adult suspects in the Delhi case and sentenced them to death, which the judge said was justified to deter other would-be rapists from attacking women.
Though the Delhi and Mumbai cases have garnered widespread media attention, gang-rapes and brutal sexual assaults are reported daily in Indian newspapers.
Mumbai's top policeman Satyapal Singh drew anger after the attack on the photographer by suggesting that a "promiscuous culture" that allows kissing in public made the city less safe for women.
Since news of the Mumbai gang-rape emerged, police say a 19-year-old telephone operator has come forward to tell them she was raped in the same mill compound at the end of July, allegedly by three of the same suspects, and two others.
In a further dent to Mumbai's image, police arrested a school bus cleaner at the weekend on suspicion of raping a four-year-old in the vehicle on the outskirts of the city earlier this month. (AFP)