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Wednesday, October 20, 2021


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Aruna Shanbaug, a Mumbai nurse who was raped in 1973 by a staff member at the hospital she worked in, has died after being in a coma for 42 years. She was 68.

Shanbaug was in the Intensive Care unit of Mumbai’s state-run King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital. Doctors had said a few days ago that Aruna was suffering from pneumonia and was on ventilator support.

She was 26 years old and a junior nurse at the hospital when she was brutally assaulted and raped by a ward boy and cleaner named Sohanlal Bharta Valmiki, who she had scolded for stealing food that was meant for stray animals adopted by the hospital.

She had just finished her shift, and was in the basement of the hospital changing before leaving for home. Her attacker had been lying in wait. He sodomized her and then strangled her with a dog chain, cutting supply of oxygen to her brain, which resulted in irreversible damage.

She was discovered in the basement 11 hours after she was attacked, blinded and paralysed and with the iron chain around her neck.

From that day on, Aruna became a resident of the hospital. So thorough was the care she got over the four decades that she was bed-ridden, that she did not get bed sores, a fact noted by the Supreme Court in its landmark judgement of 2011, rejecting a petition for euthanasia.

Hope now you can R.I.P Aruna Shanbaug.

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