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'Rape is not the end of life' says defiant Mumbai gang sex attack victim

Police officials escort an accused, with the head covered with black cloth, in the gang rape of a photojournalist after producing him before a court in Mumbai, India, Sunday.Rafiq Maqbool / AP

The 22-year-old victim of a gang rape in Mumbai, India issued a defiant statement Sunday, saying “rape is not the end of life” as police arrested the last of five suspects in the case.

The photojournalist told the newspaper in a statement that she was anxious to return to work after Thursday night’s attack, in which five men repeatedly raped her while her male colleague was beaten and tied up.

Police arrested the fifth suspect Sunday in New Delhi, the capital, after rounding up the other four in Mumbai.

"We will file a comprehensive charge sheet soon," Mumbai's police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, told The Associated Press.

He added that police have enough evidence to prosecute the suspects, including the victim's testimony and medical samples taken at the hospital after the assault.

In a statement from her hospital bed, reported by the Times of India newspaper, the victim said: "Rape is not the end of life. I want strictest punishment for all the accused and want to join duty as early as possible.”

In accordance with local law, the woman has not been named.

The five suspects — including two picked up overnight and two arrested earlier — are likely to face prosecution under a strict new law that sets the maximum prison term for rape at 20 years.

Police said the suspects targeted the photojournalist as she and the male colleague were taking pictures on a magazine assignment in a Mumbai neighborhood where luxury malls and condominiums stand alongside sprawling slums and abandoned mills. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.