Gloom and suspicion shroud Phoolan's house

Sutirtho Patranobis

New Delhi, July 28

PHOOLAN DEVI'S kin sat huddled around her laminated photograph on Saturday, staring at an uncertain future without the head of the household, claiming that the effort to hush up the case has already begun.

Their refrain was that the murder was politically motivated and masterminded by enemies active in Phoolan's home state.

The arrest of Sher Singh alias Pankaj, they say, is just an effort to shield the real killers who were propped up by political heavyweights, who were afraid of her magnetic hold over masses. Munni Devi, the youngest of the four sisters, was vocal about her feelings. Clutching the son of Phoolan's eldest sister Rukmini, she said the murder was not even remotely connected to the Behmai massacre.

Staying with Phoolan for quite some time now, she was sure that Pankaj was just the face of the group that had planned and executed the murder. The brain behind was someone else. "The police needs to answer many questions. Who were the real killers? Which was the political party behind it, and why are the police not answering some pertinent questions," she asked, barely stopping herself from using some expletives. Phoolan's mother, Mula Devi, stared, her blank face demanding that killers of her famous daughter be put behind bars.

"She has not been eating and starts crying whenever a mention of Phoolan is made," Munni Devi said, adding that her mother had 'died' that Wednesday afternoon, even if she is physically alive. Phoolan's private secretary F.M. Das pointed a finger at the UP Government.

He said it was quite strange that a large number of policemen from UP were on duty at Chief Minister Rajnath Singh's neighbouring house, but no one reacted to the firing.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: July 28, 2001
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