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Heartless13 minutes agoAuthor: Ravi Srivastava
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- A woman from the village Sunita tells that she had gone to the farm, when she returned, the bodies of father, uncle and Baba were lying in the house.
- Of the 5 accused dacoits in this case, one has died, while one is in jail, the remaining 3 are out on bail.
Behmai is a small village in Kanpur countryside, 171 km from the capital Lucknow. Here, on February 14, 1981, 40 years ago, Phoolan Devi and her 35 companions had 26 people queuing up and frying them with bullets. However, 6 people survived. Many eyewitnesses of this famous massacre have passed. Those who are alive get up in memory that evening. It is said that for about 5 minutes the village was buzzed with a flurry of gunfire. When the guns calmed down, a pile of corpses was already there. But, even after so much time has passed, ‘justice’ is falling between the arguments and arguments in the court. Victimized families have given up justice.
Of the 20 women widowed in the Behmai incident, 14 have died. Some of the remaining women left the village. There are some who have given up hope of justice. Even today, she gets emotional remembering that day.
Husband’s corpse was seen after the wedding pavilion
The bonfire was burning outside a pucca house built in the middle of the village. Two-three women were sitting there. Some men were also sitting nearby. At the same time, Munni Devi, the victim of Behmai incident, was also warming. When asked about the Behmai incident, there was resentment within the court and the government. After remaining calm for some time, Munni Devi said that she was only 11 years old when the heartless incident took place. At that time marriages used to happen quickly. I saw the face of my husband Lal Singh only on the pavilion. After that only saw the corpse of husband Lal Singh.
She is Munni Devi. Whose husband was murdered by Phoolan Devi. Then Munni Devi was just 11 years old.
Now I am 51 years old. No one is ahead of me nor behind me. How have I spent 40 years as a widow? I cannot tell his story. Each roti has to be obsolete. But neither the government ever corrected nor did anyone else. Time snatched away the parents and then the father-in-law after a time. One after the other left me and went away to say goodbye to this world. I am not educated. But on the day when there was a date in the court, on that day I used to sit hoping that maybe my husband will get justice from the court today. But, as the years passed, the age kept increasing. Now the eyes have also become weak and now the hope of justice is also ending.
Three dead bodies, including her husband lying in the house, killed all the men in the house
66-year-old Sridevi’s husband, Jeth and father-in-law were murdered by Phoolan Devi. He is ill at the moment. Her daughter Sunita says that my family can never forget that. It was between two and a half hours that day. Then Phoolan and his comrades started to surround the village. Initially people did not pay attention, because most of the gangs of dacoits passed through this village. But, after some time there was a noise in the village. The dacoits started looting. After this, the men of the house gathered near a mound and shot everyone.
The picture is of Behmai village. The people of the village still rise up in memory of that incident.
At that time I went to the farm with my mother Sridevi. When she returned, the bodies of father, uncle and Baba were lying in the house. Then I was 6 years old. Sunita says that after losing the father, the mother was the only support. The mother was 24 years old at the time. In order to raise the family, the mother has filled the stomach of her 3 children on an empty stomach. Looking forward to justice, the mother has spent 40 years of her life just waiting. But justice has not been found till date. Neither the government nor the court has been able to calculate these mother’s tears till date.
Kali maiya ki jai bol laughed
Lallan Singh, 50, says that by the time the incident took place, he must have been around 10 years old. It was noon that day. When the bandits came to the village, most of the men were at home. Phoolan started collecting men from every house near the mound. 23 people and 3 laborers were brought to the village near the mound. Suddenly Phoolan opened fire while chanting Kali Maiya ki Jai. Everyone fell down. 20 people were shot simultaneously. After staying in the village for about two and a half hours, Phoolan left with her companions. There were so many bullets that his voice was heard for many km. The cry of women kept crying for several hours. The animals were screaming. It was a strange panic-filled evening. The police arrived around 3 to 4 hours later.
Photograph of the memorial of those killed in the Behmai incident. Phoolan and his associates had shot 26 people with bullets.
Lallan questioned the government saying that if the government had paid attention, the victims might have got justice and the village happiness would also have returned. But now it does not seem to be happening. Because a long time has passed.
What has happened in the case so far?
Several accused dacoits were killed after the Behmai incident. At the same time, Phoolan went to jail after surrendering in Madhya Pradesh. Phoolan became MP after returning from jail. Phoolan was killed in 2001 in Delhi. However, the court hearing of the Behmai case began in 2011. One of the 5 accused dacoits was killed. While one is in jail. The remaining 3 are out on bail. Raja Ram Singh (72), the main litigant and eyewitness of the case, died a few days ago. After the last debate in December, 2019, the special court of Kanpur Dehat Anti-Robbery had announced the sentencing in January -2020. But the original case diary was not found. The court gave notice to the employee and ordered the police to investigate. However, the decision has not yet come. Only 4 elderly eyewitnesses or victims of this scandal remain.