New Delhi, May 19 (RHC)-- An Indian nurse who had been in a coma for 42 years due to a violent sexual assault has died at a hospital in the port city of Mumbai. King Edward Hospital’s spokesman VK Patil said that the 66-year-old Aruna Shanbaug died after suffering from pneumonia for the past few days. The spokesman added that the nurse had been on full ventilator support in recent weeks.
Shanbaug had suffered severe brain damage and was paralyzed after the assault by a sweeper at the hospital on November 27, 1973. The attacker was given a seven-year jail term. He died a free man several years ago.
India has seen frequent cases of sexual violence against women in recent years. On April 30, a 14-year-old girl died after she, along with her mother, was thrown off a moving bus in the northwestern state of Punjab. The mother, seriously injured, has said that assailants harassed her daughter after they boarded the bus.
In December 2012, a 23-year-old female medical student was gang-raped on a moving bus in the capital, New Delhi. In that case, the woman and her male companion were brutally assaulted and she later died in hospital from her injuries. The brutal incident sparked nationwide protests and forced authorities to introduce tougher laws for crimes against women.
According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in the world’s second most populous country.
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