Indian jailed for life for knife-point rape of Spanish woman in Mumbai
A rapist who attacked a young Spanish woman at knifepoint after breaking into her apartment in Mumbai was jailed for life yesterday.
Mohammed Badshah Ansari, 28, was handed the sentence after a trial heard details of how he broke into the flat through a window in November last year and then raped the victim twice while threatening her with a knife.
The victim - who had travelled to India to learn classical music - left for Germany after the attack but testified about her ordeal via video link. She cannot be named for legal reasons.
"The court has to keep in mind the interest of the society at large and the case does not have any ground for leniency," Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said as he announced the sentence in Mumbai.
Ansari, who has a long criminal record, was found guilty earlier this month of rape, robbery, criminal intimidation and trespass after his trial in the Mumbai sessions court. He had pleaded for leniency as he has a family dependent on him.
The sentencing comes as India prepares to mark the first anniversary of the death of a physiotherapy student who had been gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi.
The attack triggered massive protests over violence against women in a country where there have been several high-profile sex attacks against foreigners in recent months.
In the latest attack, a woman, 20, was allegedly gang-raped on Christmas Eve in south India, media reports said yesterday.
The woman told police she was abducted by three men while sightseeing with friends in Karaikal, a port city in Puducherry, the Times of India newspaper and TV networks reported.
One of the men raped her at a secluded spot before freeing her, the Times said.
She called for help but then another group of seven men attacked her as she was being escorted to a safe place, the paper said.
Six of the men raped her, it added.
"One case has been reported. There are 15 accused [persons] and one victim," senior police office spokeswoman Monika Bhardwaj said.
Bhardwaj said three of the accused "are absconding" while the rest have been caught.
The Times of India said police had registered preliminary cases of abduction, gang-rape and criminal intimidation against the accused.