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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 06:50 GMT
Men arrested after Mumbai attack
By Prachi Pinglay
BBC News, Mumbai

Women revellers at Mumbai's Juhu beach
Juhu beach is popular with Mumbai residents
Police in India's financial capital, Mumbai, have arrested 14 people in connection with the alleged assault of two women early on New Year's Day.

Nearly 70 men were reportedly involved in the incident near a top hotel in the city's Juhu area, which was caught on camera by two newspaper photographers.

The men were seen surrounding the women after they left the hotel.

Police said four of the detainees were clearly present at the assault. The other 10 say they are innocent.

The incident has fuelled fears about women's safety in Mumbai.

'Unlawful assembly'

Joint commissioner of Mumbai police, KL Prasad, told journalists all the arrested men had been identified with the help of the photographs published in the Hindustan Times newspaper.

"All the arrested were together at the time of the incident and had stepped out onto the road after partying at their residence," Mr Prasad said.

"They had consumed alcohol."

Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous landmark
Mumbai is generally regarded as a safe city for women

All 14 are accused of unlawful assembly, Mr Prasad said. He added that the four main accused may be charged with molestation later.

One of the main suspects seen in the pictures is yet to be arrested.

Mr Prasad said an identification parade would be carried out soon where the photographers and the traffic inspector present at the scene would be asked to identify the accused.

The Hindustan Times newspaper, whose staff photographed the incident, reported that the two women left a five-star hotel with two men after attending New Year celebrations.

'Clothes torn'

The women were teased and harassed by a crowd of men outside, the paper said.

One of the women had her clothes torn in the incident, which went on for about 20 minutes, it added.

The crowd dispersed only after the photographers called a policeman who was on duty in the area.

Last New Year's Eve, a woman was the subject of an alleged assault at the Gateway of India in Mumbai, one of the country's most famous landmarks.

Again, the incident was caught on camera by a photographer for a local paper.

The incidents have damaged the image of Mumbai, which is generally believed to be safe for women.

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