Aruna Shanbaug, in vegetative state for 42 years, dies



By NewsGram Staff Writer

The long ordeal of Aruna Shanbaug, the victim of 1973 Mumbai rape, has finally come to rest.

Shanbaug, who suffered a brutal sexual assault at KEM Hospital 42 years ago, has died on Monday due to chronic pneumonia. She was working as a staff nurse in the Hospital.

On November 27,1973, she was brutally raped by a sweeper named Sohanlal Bharta Valmiki of the hospital. He tried to rape her by wrapping a dog chain on her neck. This insane attack badly damaged her brain, and she remained in a vegetative state ever since the incident.

According to a doctor’s report, the brain was badly damaged as the chain had cut off the supply of oxygen. The cortex and some other part of the brain also faced serious damages.

As if the gruesome act of sexual assault was not enough, Shanbaug had to face her family’s apathy, which resulted in cessation of any kind of contact with her from her family members. The doctors and nurses of the hospital took care of Shanbaug, who stayed in a small room beside the female ward of the hospital.

In 2011, author Pinki Virani, who wrote a book on Shanbaug, filed a petition in Supreme Court seeking mercy killing for Shanbaug. However, the Supreme Court rejected the petition and the staff of the hospital also opposed this issue.

“An innocent girl has to give her life for men’s lust. How can a person be so cruel! And the incident is still happening every day at any corner of the world,” said doctor Manasi Guha.

“She becomes a resident of this hospital for 42 years. We all miss the lady. May her soul rest in peace,” said a doctor of the hospital.