Ghaziabad: A few days after the man who attacked Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug was traced to a village in Uttar Pradesh, panchayat will now decide if he should be allowed to stay on. Reports suggested that after his identity was revealed many locals want him to leave.
Sohanlal Bhartha Valmiki reportedly works in Parpa Village as a labourer and said he cannot recall what happened on that fateful day.
Taking note of the report that Valmiki, who brutally attacked Aruna leaving her in a vegetative state for four decades, Mumbai Police said they will seek legal opinion to decide on any further action against him.
Valmiki assaulted Aruna at King Edward Memorial Hospital on November 27, 1973. Valmiki, who throttled Aruna with a dog leash rendering her a cripple at the prime of youth, said he cannot recall anything about what had happened on that day.
Valmiki was jailed and released in 1980, not to be heard of again. Now after Aruna's death, he has been traced to Parpa village in Ghaziabad district of UP. He was never convicted for rape or sexual molestation but for assault and robbery.
For 42 years, Aruna lay comatose in the hospital until her death earlier this month, where she was cared by nurses and members of medical fraternity here .
She also became the subject of a landmark case about euthanasia that went all the way to the Supreme Court. There is a law that bears her name that allows passive euthanasia under strict conditions even though it could never be applied to her.
Meanwhile, reacting to the report that Valmiki is alive, Mumbai Police said that it would seek legal opinion on whether to file a fresh murder case against him.
"Prima-facie it seems that this old case may not attract any fresh sections as Aruna died of pneumonia," Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti said, when asked if they would consider re-opening the case after the victim's death.
"While giving judgement on plea of mercy killing filed by a journalist, the Supreme Court had said that let Aruna die a natural death. Hence in this purview, Aruna died of pneumonia that seems to be the immediate cause of her death," he said.
However, Bharti added that the police would seek legal opinion first and then decide further course of action.
(With additional information from PTI)