Finally, the gruesome wait is over. The 67-year-old Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who was in comatose state for more than four decades after being raped in 1973, died on Monday at KEM Hospital in Mumbai due to pneumonia.
The doctors attended the bedridden nurse round the clock even as she was put on ventilator support at the ICU of the KEM Hospital for nearly a week after she complained of breathlessness.
KEM Hospital dean Avinash Supe announced the death of Shanbaug in Mumbai on Monday morning.
It may be recalled that a sweeper at the KEM Hospital where she was working as a nurse attacked her on November 27, 1973. The attacker put a dog chain around her neck and struck her back with it.
He then sodomised her after finding that Aruna was menstruating at that time. Further, the man tightened the chain around her neck in order to restrict her movement.
Her brain was damaged as the chain around her neck cut off oxygen supply. After she was hospitalised with brain injury, even her relatives had stopped visiting her after sometime.
All these years, the nurses at the KEM Hospital are taking care of Aruna. Though she was not aware of the situation, she was able to recognise people.
The Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Pinki Virani urging mercy killing for Shanbaug. But the hospital management and nurses opposed the petition in March 2011.
Aruna Shanbaug was admitted to the ICU for a lung infection in December 2013. However, she was shifted back to the small room near ward no: 4 – her home for four decades – after her health condition improved then.