55. India – The Bandit Queen

Phoolan Devi’s family arranged her marriage to a man three times her age when she was only 11 years old. Suffering constant sexual assault and abuse, she managed to flee from her husband, to the disgrace of her family. Destitute and angry, she joined a gang of bandits and took revenge on upper-caste men who married young girls.

She fell in love with one of the gang members, but he was killed in gang related conflict. She was kidnapped and gang raped over a period of three weeks. When she escaped, she got her own gang together. They marched into the village where she was kept captive and took 30 men, lined them up on the riverbank and shot them all.

Although she surrendered and served 11 years in prison, Phoolan Devi did not stop fighting for justice. She eventually became a member of parliament for two terms before she was gunned down in front of her New Delhi home.

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Resources

YouTube

Rare interview with Phoolan Devi

Web

Murderpedia

Wikipedia

Articles

The life and legend of India’s Bandit Queen

India’s Bandit Queen

Killer of Phoolan Devi, India’s Bandit Queen, given life sentence

On Phoolan Devi

Audio

BBC Witness History                                                                      

Created & Produced by Sonya Lowe

Narrated by Noel Vinson

Researched by Two Red Romans Productions

Music: “Nordic Medieval” by Marcus Bressler

Background track: Doblado Studios: https://www.youtube.com/c/DobladoStudios

This True Crime Podcast was researched using open source or archive materials.

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