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Marathi Paper Traces Aruna Shanbaug’s Assailant Back to UP Village

Journalist traces Aruna Shanbaug assailant back to a village in Ghaziabad, UP and spoke with him. 

Updated
India
2 min read
Artist’s impression of Aruna Shanbaug. (Courtesy: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aruna-Shanbaug-Case/238954026171811?sk=timeline">Aruna Shanbaug Case Facebook Page</a>)

The Mumbai police might be clueless about Aruna Shanbaug’s assailant but a journalist from a Marathi newspaper claimed to have traced him to a village in Uttar Pradesh. The paper claims that he is working as a labourer in UP.

A journalist with a Marathi newspaper Sakaal Times met Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, the ward boy who assaulted Aruna at King Edward Memorial Hospital on November 27, 1973. Walmiki throttled Aruna with a dog leash leaving her in a vegetative state for 42 years but according to the paper, Walmiki says that he cannot recollect anything about what happened that day.

However, he asked the journalist “why are you people calling it as rape”. Walmiki was jailed and released in 1980, not to be heard of again.

The Mumbai police has now taken note of the report and said that they will seek legal opinion on how to proceed.

Prima-facie it seems that this old case may not attract any fresh sections as Aruna died of pneumonia.
– Deven Bharti, Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police

Walmiki was never convicted for rape or sexual molestation but for assault and robbery.

Pinki Virani, who wrote a biography of Shanbaug and petitioned the Supreme Court for mercy killing, has claimed, based on her talks with hospital ward boys, that Walmiki moved to Delhi, changed his identity and went on to work in a hospital there. But Walmiki dismisses this claim.

For over four decades, Aruna lay comatose in the hospital until her death earlier this month, where she was cared for by nurses and members of medical fraternity here. Aruna is also the subject of a massive debate over euthanasia in India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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