MUMBAI: KEM Hospital's Room no 4, which was home to comatose nurse Aruna Shanbaug for 42 years till her death last month, will be named after her.
The decision was taken by the hospital administration today on the occasion of the former KEM nurse's birthday, two weeks after her death. After a brutal rape in 1973 by a wardboy in 1973, Shanbaug remained in a vegetative state in the hospital. "We have decided to name Room No 4 after Aruna," KEM hospital dean Dr Avinash Supe told PTI.
"The room will also be used for the public and staff," he added. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena demanded reopening of the case against alleged culprit Sohanlal Valmiki who was recently traced to a village in Uttar Pradesh and was never convicted for rape or sexual molestation but for assault and robbery.
"We will place a demand before home minister Rajnath Singh and state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to reopen the case against Sohanlal Valmiki, an offender in the Aruna Shanbaug case, according to medical investigations done by the hospital at the time of the incident," Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe said.
Earlier, nurses at the hospital fondly remembered Aruna and visited her room in the morning to offer tributes. They put flowers and cut a cake. Aruna would have celebrated her 68th birthday today had she been alive. A commemorative programme was also organised in the hospital auditorium by the nursing staff.
The demand for renaming the room was made by the nursing staff shortly after Aruna's death on May 18. Later, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the Thane Nursing Training College would also be renamed after her. Releasing a biography "Vyatha Arunachi", JJ Hospital dean T P Lahane said section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC should now be revised to section 302 (murder) against Valmiki in this case.
"...Rape laws have changed now. Punishment should be such that it creates fear. There is nothing called natural or unnatural sex. Touching a woman against her is rape. Sohanlal can be tried again for rape and murder. Only then we can give justice to Aruna," he said.
Lahane said the fact that Aruna remained in coma for 42 years made the anger against Sohanlal more fierce in the society. The biography is penned by senior journalist Neha Purav.