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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Comatose for 40 years, Shanbaug moved to MICU

Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 10, 2013
First Published: 18:55 IST(10/11/2013) | Last Updated: 19:00 IST(10/11/2013)

Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital who has been lying in vegetative state in the hospital for nearly 40 years, was shifted to the medical intensive care unit (MICU) late Friday night.

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Shanbaug was raped and assaulted by a hospital sweeper named Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki while she was on duty on November 27, 1973.

On Sunday, doctors at KEM Hospital said Shanbaug was shifted to the MICU after she developed pneumonia.

“She is on oxygen support but is stable,” said a senior doctor on condition of anonymity.

Walmiki had choked her with a dog chain, before sexually assaulting her. Due to asphyxiation, Shanbaug suffered brain damage.

Walmiki was caught and convicted of attempted murder and robbery, but not of rape.

In 2011, author Pinky Virani had approached the Supreme Court seeking permission for administering euthanasia (mercy killing) to Shanbaug, but the court turned down the petition.

None of Shanbaug’s family members visits the now 65-year-old, though the hospital nurses continue caring for her and celebrate her birthday every year, said hospital officials.

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