New Delhi: A court here yesterday reserved its order on the quantum of punishment for Sher Singh Rana, convicted of killing bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi, after hearing a prosecution plea seeking death and the convict urging the court to pardon him.
Umed Singh, Phoolan Devi’s husband, demanded the death penalty for Rana.
“A harsh punishment should be awarded to Rana for killing a sitting MP, that too a Dalit woman. It will send a strong message in the society,” Umed Singh said.
Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar fixed August 14 as the date for delivering the order on the quantum of sentence against Rana.
On August 8, the court had convicted Rana, who gunned down Phoolan Devi to allegedly avenge the 1981 Behmai massacre, in which she killed 17 people of the Thakur community.
The court convicted Rana on charges of murder and attempt to murder with common intention. However, he was acquitted of charges relating to criminal conspiracy and under the Arms Act.
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.
Phoolan Devi was shot dead on July 25, 2001, outside her residence in Delhi by Rana and his associates, police said.
“It is an offence of murder which was committed in a pre-planned manner and was meticulously executed by him (Rana). Keeping in view the impact on the society, I request the court to award death penalty, the prosecution told court.
Defence counsel of Rana, advocate Mukesh Kalia, countered the police claim and said that the court had mentioned in its judgment that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the motive behind the murder.
Police claimed that many criminal cases had been filed against the main accused in the case.