“I am tired of the memories; I want to die now”: Sohan Lal, Aruna Shanbaug’s Assailant

Some said he had moved to a Delhi hospital, other said he died of tuberculosis, still others said AIDS had got him. But, Sohan Lal Singh, who brutally assaulted Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who remained in a vegetative state for 42 years, is alive, reports Indian Express.

For Sohan Lal Singh, son of Bharta Valmiki, life has been a penance. He said:

“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. For many years after my release, I didn’t touch my wife. A son was born 14 years after I left jail.”


“I have deep regret, I want to seek forgiveness from her and god.”


Sohan Lal spent 7 years at the Yerawada jail in Pune and then moved to his father-in-law’s house in Parpa, in western Uttar Pradesh. He says he is 66 and works for a labor contractor at a power plant. He rubbished the rape report and claims he did not do any such thing. He said:

“Everything happened in a fit of rage. There was a fight, it was dark, and I panicked. We both hit each other, I may have pulled the ornaments they said I stole during the scuffle. 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.”


He spoke of a “troubled relationship” with Shanbaug who was with the animal experimentation unit at KEM Hospital. 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. Who listens to a jamadar (sweeper)?”

Reacting to newspapers reports and the damage that incident has caused to him and his family, Sohan Lal said:

“My son would tell us things written about me in newspapers 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.”


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