Phoolan Devi's killer Sher Singh Rana gets life imprisonment

New Delhi, August 14: In a much awaited verdict, bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi's killer Sher Singh Rana on Thursday was awarded life imprisonment by a court for killing her in 2001.

Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar pronounced the order on sentence in a jam-packed courtroom where some of the family members and supporters of Rana were also present.

"For offence under Section 302/34 IPC, I award you life term and Rs 50,000 fine... For offence under Section 307, I award you life term with a fine of Rs 50,000," the judge said, adding that if Rana failed to deposit the penalty imposed on him, he will have to undergo six months imprisonment each in default.

As soon as the judge pronounced the verdict, some family members of Rana and his supporters were in tears.

Delhi police had demanded death penalty for 35-year-old Rana, who was convicted under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On August 8, the court convicted Rana on charges of murder and attempt to murder with common intention.

On Tuesday, Rana sought leniency and told Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar, "You (judge) are sitting on the chair of the God and what you say here comes directly from God's mouth. You (judge) have pardoned the prosecution in this case so please pardon me also."

"I am unmarried but I have the responsibility of looking after my aged mother. My father expired when I was in jail and I could not attend his last rites. My mother is ailing and she would get treatment only after I am released from jail," tensed Rana said in the jampacked courtroom.

"I know that no judge wants his order to be reversed by the higher courts....I request you to write such a judgement so that I could get acquittal soon," he had said.

On July 25, 2001, Rana along with his associates, had gunned down Phoolan Devi from close range outside her residence at Ashoka Road in the heart of the capital's VIP area as she returned home for lunch after attending Lok Sabha, to avenge the 1981 Behmai massacre in which she had killed 17 people of the higher caste Thakur community.

At the time of her murder, Phoolan Devi, whose dramatic life inspired many books and an internationally acclaimed movie "Bandit Queen", was a Samajwadi Party parliamentarian from Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

Besides Rana, there were 11 other accused in the case. One of them, Pradeep, died following a heart attack in Tihar Jail in November 2013 and the other 10 accused were let off.

Rana was arrested on July 27, 2001. However, in 2004, he fled from the high security Tihar Jail. In 2006, he was arrested in Kolkata, brought back to Delhi and lodged again in Tihar Jail.

OneIndia News

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