India

Indian man guilty of 'Bandit Queen' murder

  • 8 August 2014
  • From the section India
File photo of Phoolan Devi in parliament, February 2000
Phoolan Devi became one of India's best-known political figures after giving up years of crime

Thirteen years after she was killed, a man has been convicted of murdering India's bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi.

Sher Singh Rana was arrested after Devi was shot dead at the age of 38 in front of her home in Delhi in July 2001.

He escaped from pre-trial custody in a Delhi high security prison in February 2004, but was recaptured in 2006.

Phoolan Devi became one of India's best-known political figures after giving up years of crime.

Rana will be sentenced on Tuesday. Ten others were acquitted.

Phoolan Devi was part of India's bandit folklore.

A member of the lower castes, she rose to notoriety in 1981 when she had 22 upper caste Hindu men massacred on Valentine's Day to avenge her gang rape.

Devi surrendered to the authorities in 1983 and served a prison sentence until February 1994.

Two years later she became a member of the Indian lower house of parliament. She lost her seat in 1998 but made a comeback the following year.

Her life was immortalised in the 1996 film Bandit Queen by Indian director Shekhar Kapur.

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