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Phoolan Devi raped, murdered accused no more; verdict of 39 years old Behmai massacre today


New Delhi, Jan 18: The judgment after 39 years of the Behmai Massacre where the then bandit queen Phoolan Devi allegedly gunned down 20 men to be heard on Saturday.

Reportedly, on February 14, 1981, Phoolan Devi allegedly killed 20 Thakurs of the Behmai village in Dehat area of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh to avenge her rape by two other bandits Lala Ram and Sri Ram, both upper caste Thakurs.

file photo of Phoolan Devi

It was first time ever in the history that lower-caste dacoits had united to take on the Thakurs of 84 villages of UP by allegedly supporting the upper-caste dacoit gangs of Shri Ram and Lala Ram, and to avenge Phoolan Devi's gang rape.

Almost, 17 of the 28 accused named in the case are no more, including Phoolan Devi herself. Then bandit queen was killed in 2001. Among four of the five eye-witnesses have also passed away.

Earlier, Kanpur's local court said the defence counsel Raghunandan Singh and Girish Narayan Dubey had sought time to file citations of judgments of superior courts that will support their case before the verdict is delivered.

The tragic incident had shaken the UP politics and resulted in then UP CM V P Singh's resignation owing moral responsibility for the massacre.

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    In 1983, two years after the massacre under an amnesty scheme Phoolan Devi surrendered to the Madhya Pradesh (MP) police.

    According to the terms of her surrender, then MP CM Arjun Singh agreed to keep her in the Gwalior prison, rather than being sent to a UP prison.

    For 11 years she spent in Gwalior and Jabalpur jails and was released without facing trial. but she kept fighting a legal battle against the UP police and the Kanpur court's orders.

    Phoolan Devi earlier, also won two Lok Sabha elections, in 1996 and 1999 successfully contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket. In 1996, Mulayam Singh Yadav-led-SP government also filed an application to the sought withdrawal of the case against her.

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