Mumbai gang rape: Death sentences for India rapists

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Media captionThe men attacked the photojournalist while she was on assignment

A court in India has sentenced three men to hang, under a new law which carries the death penalty for those convicted of multiple sexual assaults.

The men were convicted of raping a photojournalist in Mumbai last year.

But they were also among five men sentenced to life last month for raping another woman in a separate incident in the city.

The trio are the first to be tried and convicted under the tough new law aimed at repeat sexual offenders.

Friday's sentences were announced at a court in Mumbai where Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said: "There needs to be zero tolerance for such incidents," the Agence France-Presse news agency reported.

"A loud and clear message needs to be sent to society," she added.

Both the victims - an 18-year-old telephone operator and the photojournalist - were attacked last year. Both trials were completed within seven months in a fast-track court.

The 22-year-old photojournalist, an intern with a Mumbai-based magazine, had gone to the Shakti Mills - a former textile mill that now lies abandoned - with a male colleague on a photo assignment when she was attacked. Her colleague was beaten during the assault.

After that case made national headlines, the 18-year-old telephone operator came forward to report that she had been assaulted in the same place a month earlier.

Scrutiny of sexual violence has grown in India ever since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.

The case sparked off nationwide protests and forced the Indian authorities to introduce tough new anti-rape laws.

Four men were sentenced to death and a juvenile was sent to a correction facility for three years for the Delhi attack.

The attack on the Mumbai photojournalist only renewed public outrage.