Mumbai, May 18: A controversy has erupted over performing the last rites of nurse Aruna Shanbaug, the world's oldest comatose patient who died on Monday after lying in coma for around 42 years, with two of her relatives staking claim to do so.
Shanbaug had been in a vegetative state ever since she was raped by a contract sweeper in the KEM hospital on the night of November 27, 1973.
The last rites shall be performed around 4 pm on Monday.
A controversy erupted over the funeral, with two relatives of Shanbaug staking claim to perform the last rites.
They claimed before media persons that all attempts to meet Shanbaug were stone-walled by the hospital authorities.
However, nurses at the KEM Hospital demanded that since they had tended to Shanbaug for over four decades, they should be allowed to perform the last rites.
The hospital, civic and police authorities have reportedly evolved a compromise formula by which the nurses and the two relatives shall jointly perform the funeral.
Presently, the hospital has kept her body for public viewing as thousands of people, including nurses, commoners, politicians and others paid homage to Shanbaug.
She was aged in her early 60s, deserted by most of her relatives during her lifetime but was looked after with dedication by nurses of Asia's largest public healthcare facility, the BMC-run KEM Hospital where she lay in Ward No. 4A.