She overcame a brain tumour, outsmarted Mad Maya and survived the tram crash but eventually became a tragic murder victim.
That’s a lot to pack into her years on the show! So what was her story?
Sunita’s arrival in Weatherfield
When Dev was dating Geena Gregory, Vikram Desai sneaked into the flat above the corner shop with his latest girlfriend – thinking it was empty. But he was shocked to hear a woman’s voice, calling out to Dev.
Vik thought Dev was cheating on Geena. But the mystery woman turned out to be an old friend of Dev’s, called Sunita Parekh. She’d run away from an arranged marriage and Dev was helping her.
Sunita’s parents disowned her, but she stayed firm and got a job working with Dev, and later in the Rovers.
For a long time, Dev and Sunita were just friends, with Sunita dating handsome Rovers barman Ciaran McCarthy – even though she’d secretly fallen for Dev.
Was Sunita Alahan a bigamist?
Sunita developed a brain tumour and Dev looked after her. When he realised how close he’d come to losing poor Sunita, he finally admitted he loved her, too.
But there was a problem – Dev’s girlfriend, Maya Sharma. Though Dev ended things with her to be with Sunita, she didn’t take it well!
As Dev and Sunita started planning their wedding, Maya stole Sunita’s birth certificate and married SEVEN illegal immigrants.
Maya then tipped off the authorities and an oblivious Sunita was arrested on her wedding day for bigamy!
Fortunately, she was cleared, but Maya wanted more revenge. She set fire to Dev’s shops and took Sunita hostage – almost finishing off poor Sunita.
A woman scorned, eh?
After all the drama, Dev and Sunita settled down and had twins, Aadi and Asha.
But later Sunita discovered Dev had children by several different women, who he’d given homes and jobs. She couldn’t forgive his deceit, so she left with the kids.
A return to Coronation Street
After four years away, Sunita returned to Weatherfield, engaged to someone else. But she and Dev still had feelings for one another and they got back together.
But their relationship got a bit complicated firstly after the tram crash when the couple hit financial problems, and then when Dev’s troublesome daughter Amber came to live with them.
Feeling taken for granted, Sunita got a job at the Rovers…
How did Sunita Alahan die in Coronation Street?
Rovers landlady Stella Price lived in the pub with her partner Karl Monro.
Karl had a gambling problem, which Sunita was sympathetic about. The pair grew closer and started an affair.
Sunita went off the rails as her feelings for Karl intensified. She set him up, seducing him when she knew Stella would find them together.
And though she and Karl tried to make a go of things, it didn’t work.
Later, she and Dev got back together, but Stella warned Dev not to trust Sunita. Sunita was furious.
She got drunk and followed Karl into the cellar at the pub, where he was setting fire to Jason Grimshaw‘s building materials in revenge for him having an affair with Stella (erm, pot, kettle, black, Karl).
They struggled and Sunita was knocked out. She was rescued and taken to hospital, where Karl tried to frame her for the fire by putting the pub keys in her hand so her fingerprints could be found.
But when Sunita began to regain consciousness, Dev told Karl – what a fool. Worried his secret would be revealed, Karl raced to the hospital and pulled out Sunita’s breathing tube, killing her.
When Karl was found to be the one who set the fire in the Rovers, Sunita’s name was cleared.
Who played Sunita Alahan?
Sunita was played by Shobna Gulati.
She’s something of a national treasure having appeared in successful shows including Dinner Ladies, Doctor Who and In The Club, alongside her role in Corrie.
Shobna was married to architect Anshu Srivastava from 1990 until 1994. The actress has one child.
From 1999 to 2003, Shobna was in a relationship with former Emmerdale hunk Gary Turner.
Gary played Carlos Diaz in Emmerdale in the early 2000s. He had relationships with sisters Bernice and Nicola Blackstock and at one point was part of a who’s the daddy plot for the paternity of Gabby Thomas.
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What is Shobna Gulati doing now?
Shobna still acts, having played Ray in the West End show Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and took on the role in the film adaptation too, alongside fellow ex-Corrie star Sarah Lancashire.
Most recently, Shobna appeared in the acclaimed television adaptation of the novel My Name is Leon.
Outside of the acting world, Shobna is a vocal supporter of Asian women’s rights and speaks out on female body issues.
She has recently released a memoir: Remember Me? which details caring for her mother with dementia and the emotions of losing a parent to such an awful illness.
Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV.
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