Mumbai: On Monday, Aruna Shanbaug breathed last, nobody was aware about the whereabouts of the accused Sohanlal Walmiki, the person convicted for assaulting her.
Even as Aruna Shanbaug spent most part of her life as a “prisoner” in a tiny room of the hospital, Walmiki was able to walk free after spending seven years in prison. Little was known about his whereabouts since his release from the prison and he is believed to have migrated to Delhi where he started working as a ward boy in a hospital.
Walmiki, who was a contract sweeper at the KEM Hospital at the time of the incident, was only charged for robbery and attempt to murder and was sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment after charges were proved against him.
There is no clarity on why the accused was not charged for rape or sodomizing. The documents pertaining to trial are not traceable now; even two officers from Bhoiwada police station, where the case of assault on Ms Shanbaug was registered, visited the sessions court but could not find documents.
Some details were provided in the petition filed by Pinki Virani seeking the mercy killing of Aruna Shanbaug. According to the case filed on the evening of November 27, 1973, a sweeper attacked her in the hospital and gagged her with a dog chain around her neck and yanked her back with it. He tried to rape her but finding that she was menstruating, he sodomized her.
To immobilise her during this act, he twisted the chain around her neck.