Every time Aruna's painful journey was recalled, the rapist was cursed and the accused, who ruined her life was been looked out for.
Sohan Lal Singh, who is accused of sexually assaulting the nurse and left her in a vegetative state, served for seven-years sentence at Yerwada Jail in Pune and was released on 1980.
Aruna Shanbaug, 67-year-old rape victim who spent nearly her 42 years on the bed of King Edward Memorial hospital, Mumbai. Aruna died in the same hospital where she worked as a nurse, sexually assualted and was left to die with a dog chain around her neck.
Some people said after he was released and he left his house in Mumbai and went back to his village, some said he died and some of them said he went back to work in the same KEM hospital.
But the truth was he went back to village where he had to face allegations verbally by everyone and he had to live 42 years trying to be forgotten.
Sohan Lal says, 'Everything happened in a fit of rage. We both hit each other. There was no rape… they beat me up in the police station and kept saying it was rape. I did not rape her, it must have been someone else. I gave up non-vegetarian food, bad habits like smoking bidis and drinking. I had a daughter before I was sentenced, and she died while I was in jail. She died because I made a mistake.'
The truth is restricted till Aruna and Sohan, but that lady suffered a lot before breathing her last breath. Sohan Lal's wife said her younger son that his father is an innocent man and the crime is exaggerated in news, thus he should forgive his father.
Sohan Lal says, 'My son would tell us these things and my wife would cry. I wish I had died. My sons would have taken care of her. I am tired of the memories, I want to die now.'
Though Sohan did not admit his crime of raping her but he said, 'Aruna didiji was always picking on me. She knew I was scared of dogs… there were other sweepers, but she picked me each time the dogs had to be fed or their cages swept. I told the doctor in charge and my supervisor to transfer me, I complained about her but no one listened.'
He added further, 'I just slapped her in a fit of rage, did not rape or sodomise.'
'Earlier, I would read the papers and her face would be clear in my head… Now it is hazy,” he says.
He got the news of her death, when a journalist came looking for him.
For years Sohan Lal and his family lived and worked next door to the hospital in Parel, Mumbai, where Aruna lay unwell and unconscious. he says he is '65-66' now almost the same age of Aruna, when she died.