The Mumbai gangrape, of a young photojournalist, triggered an avalanche of outrage across India today with leading figures across the spectrum of society condemning the crime as despicable and shameful, leading to comparisons with the gruesome December 16 Delhi gangrape that led to nation-wide protests.
As people from all walks of life voiced their anguish at the horror of the Mumbai gangrape, political parties, media associations and Bollywood were one in demanding harshest punishment to the perpetrators of the crime in a city which is seen as far safer for women than the national capital.
The Mumbai gangrape attack also had its echo in Rajya Sabha which erupted in anger with agitated members expressing serious concern over increasing atrocities on women and the government assuring "harshest" action against the culprits.
Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal said sex assaults must be dealt with "in the severest manner".
"We cannot afford to let our women and children live in insecurity and must make sure that such attacks against women are dealt in the severest manner," he said.
Hundreds of people including members of several journalists' associations gathered in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest against the gangrape. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading "Stop rape" and "City of shame."
Media associations in Chennai said the "horrifying incident" has shocked the entire country once again raising the issue of safety of women.
"Despicable! We are shamed! How long & God forbid, how many more before the criminals are punished? Wake up, India!," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
"Helpless to say the least...words like "devastated".."disgusted" mean nothing at a time like this!
#gangerape in my city... I feel ashamed," lamented Producer-Director Karan Johar.
Some even sniped at the Union Ministry of Home affairs and its equivalent in Maharashtra for failing to enhance the safety of women in the country since the Delhi gangrape incident last December and after enactment of new laws.
BJP's Smriti Irani while raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha asked what steps had been initiated to prevent recurrence of such incidents even after repeated assurances of improving law and order condition in the aftermath