IN the 13-year-old sensational murder of Phoolan Devi alias Bandit Queen, Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar in Delhi on Friday convicted main accused Sher Singh Rana. Court fixed the matter for August 12 for arguments and pronouncement of quantum of sentence.
According to media reports, 38-year-old Sher Singh Rana alia Pankaj is convicted for the offences under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The court has acquitted 10 others accused into the matter. They are Dhan Prakash, Shekhar Singh, Rajbir Singh, Vijay Singh alias Raju (Rana’s brother), Rajender Singh alias Ravinder Singh, Keshav Chauhan, Praveen Mittal, Amit Rathi, Surender Singh Negi alias Suri and Sharavan Kumar. One accused Pradeep Singh had died in Tihar Jail in November 2013.
On 25 July 2001, Phoolan Devi, Member of Parliament (MP) from Samajwadi Party (SP) was shot dead by three masked gunmen outside of her Bungalow, Ashoka Road in Delhi. The key accused of the murder, Sher Singh Rana alias Pankaj, later surrendered to the police. Rana allegedly claimed to have killed Phoolan Devi to take revenge for the upper-caste men she gunned down in the Behmai (massacre) in 1981.
Who was Phoolan Devi?
Phoolan Devi was born in August 1963 into the Mallah (boatmen) caste, in the small village of Ghura Ka Purwa (also spelled Gorha ka Purwa) in Jalaun District, Uttar Pradesh. She was the fourth child of father Devi Din and mother Moola. A young Phoolan became the moll of the leader of a group of bandits, after she was raped by 22 upper caste (Thakur ) men. To take avenge Phoolan lined up the accused in village square and shot dead them in 1981.