Mumbai: Aruna Shanbaug, the former nurse at KEM Hospital here who was brutally sexually assaulted by a ward boy at the facility 42 years ago and had been lying in a vegetative state ever since, passed away on Monday.
The 66-year-old was battling a serious bout of pneumonia and was on ventilator support, King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital sources said.
She was in the medical ICU of the hospital located in Parel area of Mumbai.
On November 27, 1973, while working as a junior nurse at KEM Hospital, she was sexually assaulted by a ward boy, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki. He had also strangled her with a dog chain, cutting off oxygen supply to her brain.
She was in a vegetative state since the assault.
Here is the timeline of the tragic events that shaped her life.
November 27, 1973: Arun Shanbaug, a nurse at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM) was sexually assaulted by a ward boy and cleaner in Mumbai. He used a dog chain to torture Aruna, cutting off oxygen supply to her brain.
November 28, 1973: Police arrest Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, the man accused of raping Aruna.
November 29, 1973: Such was the severity of the rape that Aruna is left paralysed, deaf and in coma.
1974: Initially, Walmiki was charged with robbery and attempted murder, not rape. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
1980: After serving his sentence, Walmiki walked out of jail and also worked at another hospital. Meanwhile, a municipal body tries to shift Aruna outside KEM, however, the nurses protest.
2009: Author of the book ‘Aruna’s Story’ moved the Supreme Court urging it to stop force-feeding her, further demanding euthanasia.
January 24, 2011: After she had been in this state for 38 years, the Supreme Court responded to the plea for euthanasia filed by Aruna's friend, journalist Pinki Virani, by setting up a medical panel to examine her.
March 07, 2011: The court turned down the mercy killing petition.
May 18, 2015: After suffering for 42 years, Aruna Shanbaug passed away.