Gangraped photojournalist's family seeks severest punishment for accused

In a statement issued here, they said, "Now that stringent laws are in place, we are optimistic that your and the government's efforts will help fast track the matter so that the severest of punishment is meted out. This will ensure that even the most sick-minded think twice before they act in such an inhuman and insensitive way."

"My daughter and I are overwhelmed with the support given to us by the police, the media and the public at large during such a nightmarish phase for us. We want to thank you all for showing sensitivity and restraint which has given us strength, hope and courage to pick up the pieces of our lives after the most tragic incident.”

“We would also like to thank the authorities, including the Jaslok hospital staff and management, the state administration, the Chief Minister’s office and Mumbai Police for their support and prompt action. We would also like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to other patients and their relatives during this time," the mother of the photojournalist said.

Mumbai gangrape accused, from left to right: Chand Sattar Sheikh, Vijay Jadhav, Salim Ansari, Kasim Shaikh alias Bengali, Siraj Rehman

"We hope and pray for your continued support and campaign in the fight for justice for my daughter and women at large in India. This is a trying time of our lives and we would request that you give us the breathing space we so desperately need by not visiting our 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," she added.

"We hope and pray you will empathize and adhere to our humble request while continuing your support for justice, not just for my daughter but for all those victims and families who go through the same hell as we have," she said.

The statement came after Mumbai Police confirmed that they had arrested all of the five accused. Four of them have been sent to judicial custody till August 30. Salim Ansari, 27, was arrested in Delhi on Sunday and brought back to Mumbai late last night.

The gangrape of the photojournalist has provoked anger and comparisons with the fatal gangrape of a young student on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012.

According to media reports, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has promised that the case will be fast-tracked. He has asked noted criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam to appear as public prosecutor in the case.

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