43 years after Behmai massacre, one from Phoolan Devi’s gang gets life term

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Kanpur, Feb 15 (IANS) Exactly 43 years after the Behmai massacre in which 20 people were shot dead at a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur by ‘Bandit Queen’ Phoolan Devi and her gang, a court pronounced its verdict on Wednesday, handing the life sentence to one of the two last surviving accused.

On February 14, 1981, Phoolan Devi and her gang stormed Behmai village, to avenge her gang rape by upper caste men.

Among those who were killed, 17 were Thakurs.

Rajaram of Behmai village had alerted police about the massacre, leading to the registration of a case against 34 people, including Phoolan Devi.

Of 34 accused, Phoolan Devi and 30 others have died. Also, 28 witnesses in the case passed away during the trial. One of the accused, Man Singh, remains at large.

“What is the point of a judgment that took more than four decades? Most of the people associated with the case are dead, whether it was the plaintiff or accused,” said main plaintiff Rajaram’s son Raju Singh.

A local court in Kanpur had framed charges in the case in August 2012.

On Wednesday, Kanpur Dehat additional district judge (anti-robbery court) Amit Malviya sentenced Shyam Babu Kewat to life imprisonment and acquitted another accused, Vishwanath, due to lack of evidence.



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