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By Neha Sharma, CNN

NEW DELHI (CNN) - A 23-year-old photographer was gang-raped by five men in the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, police said Friday, the latest shocking report of sexual assault to make headlines in the South Asian nation.

The attack took place Thursday evening in a deserted area of the Shakti Mills district in Mumbai, said the city's police commissioner, Satyapal Singh.

The unidentified female victim and a male colleague were on assignment in the area for a print publication when some of the men approached them and asked if they had permission to take photographs, Singh said.

The attack unfolded from there, he said, without providing a full account of events.

The victim is now in a stable condition in Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, hospital authorities said.

Singh said police have a "strong lead" in the case without giving further details. They released sketches of five men they said were suspects in the case.

The attack has shocked and disappointed many Mumbai residents, who consider their city to be a safer place for women than the capital, New Delhi.

The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in a bus in New Delhi in December sparked debate and introspection in India about sexual crimes against women. The victim of the New Delhi attack later died in a Singapore hospital.

An outcry quickly grew over her case and expanded to include widespread concerns about women's safety and inequalities, triggering demonstrations in various cities.

In response, the nation's lawmakers have introduced tougher laws and punishments for sexual crimes and harassment. Despite such action, frequent episodes of sexual violence are reported in India.

Some cases receive heavy coverage in the news media.

Earlier this month, police said a 7-year-old girl was raped in a train's toilet compartment in central India.

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