‘Because of Aruna, noone else will have to suffer’

“Because of this woman (Aruna Shanbaug), who has never received  justice, no other person in a similar position will have to suffer for more than three and a half-decades.”

This is how author Pinki Virani reacted to Monday’s SC verdict. Virani’s association with Shanbaug was crystallised in her book, Aruna’s Story, a moving account of how the 25-year-old nurse at KEM Hospital was sodomised and strangled with a dog chain by a ward boy in November 1973 and her life in a “vegetative” state. Virani’s plea seeking to stop force-feeding Shanbaug was rejected by the SC on Monday.

Virani’s lawyer Shubhangi Tulli ruled out filing an appeal  saying the two-judge ruling was final till the SC decided to constitute a larger bench to re-examine the issue.

Virani told the HT in an e-mail that Shanbaug’s state will  worsen because she has “persistent diarrhoea as her body cannot handle much of that being put through the pipe...” Virani said that Shanbaug takes longer and longer to respond; much of the time is spent in “catatonic” state which is like a blank gaze for hours.

“She will continue in this way for as long as there is no intervention,” said Virani.


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