Phoolan Devi Wiki, Age, Death, Husband, Caste.

Phoolan Devi was popularly known as Bandit Queen. She was an Indian Dacoit & then a Indian Member of Parliament. She faced many difficulties in her life .

Phoolan Devi Wiki, Age, Death, Husband, Caste.
Phoolan Devi Biography

Phoolan Devi Biography

Popularly known as the ‘Bandit Queen of India’, Phoolan Devi transcended her traumatic life to become the Member of Parliament. She was born into a poor household considered girls as a burden.

She was married off at a very young age to a man much older. Her husband committed a lot of atrocity on her, which eventually forced her to abandon her husband. She had to undergo further humiliation as she was abused at several other occasions, before she decided to become a gun-wielding dacoit.

She became a dangerous and dreaded dacoit before surrendering to spend 11 years in prison. After her release from the prison, Phoolan decided to lead a dignified life and became a politician. However, she could not spend many years of her life as a politician as she was shot dead outside her Delhi bungalow in 2001.

Phoolan Devi wrote her autobiography with the help of Paul Rambali and Marie-Therese Cuny. Several films and documentaries have been made on her life story. ‘Bandit Queen’ (1994) is the most notable of the lot.

Phoolan Devi was an Indian Dacoit who belonged to the Uttar Pradesh region of India. She was known to be a very brave and strong woman, who had the courage to fight back the wrong. She herself punished all her rape victims and shot them dead by forming a line. She was a known dacoit in the Indian history who had a number of murder, kidnapping and lottery charges against her.

The film Bandit Queen is based on her life history, which was made in the year 1994. She had also written an autobiography. Till date she was known to be one of the strong women in Uttar Pradesh and the only Indian woman dacoit, In February 1983, she surrendered to the police and was put in jail for 11 years.

During the 11th Lok Sabha Term- 1996-1998, she served as Member of Parliament.
Name Phoolan Devi
Nick Name Phoolan Devi
Full Name Phoolan Devi
Date of Birth 10 August 1963
Marital status Merried
Birth Place Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh, India
Age 37 Year ( aged )
Nationality indian
Hometown Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh, India

Childhood & Early Life
  • Phoolan was born on August 10, 1963, in a hamlet called Gorha ka Purwa in Jalaun, Uttar Pradesh.
  • She was the youngest child of Devi Din Mallah and Moola. She had three siblings, but only Phoolan and one of her sisters made it to adulthood.
  • She was born into the Mallah (boatmen) community and was considered nothing more than a burden by her family. Since her family was poverty-stricken, she couldn’t receive formal education.
  • Her rebellious attitude came to the fore when she was just 10 years old. When one of Phoolan’s cousins suggested the idea of cutting down a neem tree which was rooted to a piece of farmland that belonged to the family’s ancestors, the idea was rejected by Phoolan.
  • Though her cousin said that he wanted to grow crops on the land for subsequent profit, she felt that her cousin was trying to cheat her father and hence stood firmly against his suggestion.
  • She started abusing him and even staged a protest to publicly humiliate her cousin. During the protest, she kept abusing him until she fell unconscious after being hit by a brick.

Marriage & Subsequent Struggles
A year later at the age of 11, Phoolan was married off to a widower named Puttilal Mallah who was almost thrice as old as Phoolan. Puttilal lived several miles away from Phoolan’s village.
While her family thought that her rebellious nature and her habit of using profanity would be kept in check by her husband and her in-laws, the reality turned out to be totally different.
She was repeatedly raped and abused by her husband, and after many attempts, Phoolan escaped from his clutches and went back to her home.
Meanwhile, her cousin, whom Phoolan had humiliated earlier, decided to teach her a lesson. He lodged a police complaint against Phoolan claiming that she had stolen valuables like gold and wrist watch from him. Phoolan was arrested and was physically abused by the cops over a period of three days.
Her cousin had also burnt the crops belonging to her father as an act of revenge. After her release, Phoolan once again attacked her cousin and hurled abuses at him.
At the age of 16, Phoolan was accepted by her in-laws when her parents sent them a few gifts. She was then asked to lead a peaceful life with her husband. But she once again suffered a lot of beatings and abuses at the hands of her husband.
In 1979, her in-laws returned the gifts and said that they would never accept her as their daughter-in-law. Being abandoned by one’s husband or his family was a taboo in Phoolan’s village and hence she was despised by many.

Becoming a Bandit
The exact reason behind Phoolan’s decision to turn towards banditry is unclear. Some say that she was kidnapped by the dacoits which triggered her decision of becoming one among them.
Others believe that she simply wanted to begin a fresh life and hence chose to join a group of bandits. In her autobiography, Phoolan Devi simply says that ‘it was the choice of the fate.’
After joining the group of dacoits, she fell in love with Vikram Mallah. Vikram killed the gang leader Babu Gujjar when Babu tried to rape Phoolan. Vikram then became the new leader of the gang. Phoolan then marched into her husband’s village along with other members of the gang and stabbed her husband in front of the whole village.
She then left him on the road along with a note which warned other men that they too, would face similar fate if they marry young girls from the neighboring villages. Her husband lived the rest of his life as a recluse as people were afraid of interacting with him.

The Blood Bath at Behmai
On February 14, 1981, Phoolan returned to Behmai to hurt all those men who had raped her a year before. But she could not find any of those men. Upset over the fact that she could not find any of those men, Phoolan lined up 30 Rajput men and killed 22 of them.
Though the Behmai incident sent shockwaves across the country, it also made Phoolan the ‘Bandit Queen’. Although she became the most wanted criminal of India, it was difficult to nab her as she had the support of the lower cast people. Soon, she was dubbed as the Robin Hood of India and was also portrayed like a hero by the media.

Phoolan Devi All Facts

  • Phoolan Devi, popularly known as “Bandit Queen”, was an Indian female rights activist, bandit and politician from the Samajwadi Party.
  • Phoolan Devi was born on 10 August 1963 in Jalaun.
  • Phoolan Devi endured poverty, child marriage and abusive marriage before living a life of crime.
  •  After Phoolan Devi was raped several times by her husband, teenage Phoolan Devi tried to escape by running away and joining a gang of bandits.
  • Phoolan Devi took the lives of 22 Thakurs to avenge the rape.
  • Phoolan escaped from imprisonment for two years after the massacre and after that she and some of her remaining gang members surrendered to the police in 1983.
  • In 1994, the state government led by Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav summarily dropped all charges against him and Phoolan was released.
  • Phoolan Dev stood for election to the Parliament as a candidate of the Samajwadi Party and was twice elected to the Lok Sabha as the Member of Parliament for Mirzapur.

Body Measurements

Breast Size 32
Waist Size 28
Hip Size 34
Body Figure 32-28-34
Skin Colour Fair
Eye Colour Brown
Hair Colour Brown

Surrender & Imprisonment
Phoolan Devi decided to surrender to the Madhya Pradesh police department. However, she put forward a few demands before surrendering.
She refused to surrender before Uttar Pradesh police and said that she would lay down her weapons only in front of the portraits of Goddess Durga and Mahatma Gandhi. She also asked for the protection of her family while she served her sentence.
She served 11 years in jail. She was absolved of all her charges in 1994 when Mulayam Singh Yadav became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and was eventually set free.
Crime Free Life
Post her release, Phoolan converted to Buddhism, and chose a peaceful life. In 1996, she represented the ‘Samajwadi Party’ and contested at the 11th Lok Sabha election from Mirzapur.
She ended up winning and soon became a Member of Parliament. In 1998, she lost her post, only to be re-elected during the 1999 election.
She served as a Member of Parliament (MP) until the day she was murdered.
In Media
In 1985, a Bengali movie titled ‘Phoolan Devi’ was released. The movie starred Rita Bhaduri, Suresh Oberoi and Joy Banerjee.
Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur made a movie called, ‘Bandit Queen’ in 1994. The movie was based on the book, ‘India’s Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi’ (1993) by Mala Sen.
Phoolan went on to release her autobiography titled, ‘The Bandit Queen of India: An Indian Woman's Amazing Journey from Peasant to International Legend’.


  • Phoolan Devi’s used to study in her part-time.
  • She once said in an interview that she doesn’t want to be a woman in her next birth.
  • When she escaped after sufferings from her husband’s home, in order to teach Phoolan a lesson for the disgrace she caused to their family, her cousins sent her to prison accusing her of stealing their belongings. There she was abused physically. They let her off with a warning to behave herself in the future with her family.
  • In 1969, her husband abandoned her few months after the ceremony of Gauna (a ceremony where married women start cohabiting with their husband). She was considered a social outcast as it was a taboo in Indian society for a woman to her husband or a husband to a woman.
  • She composed her autobiography entitled “I, Phoolan Devi” with the help of international authors Marie-Therese Cuny and Paul Rambali.
  • In her autobiography, she describes her husband of  a “very bad character.”
  • She learned to use the rifle with the help of Vikram Mallah.
  • According to a legend, Vikram Mallah taught her,

If you are going to kill, kill twenty, not just one. For if you kill twenty, your fame will spread; if you kill only one, they will hang you as a murderess.”

  • Phoolan was the only woman in the gang of dacoits. She would go to Durga Temple after every crime she had committed and thank the goddess for her protection.
  • After the manhunt carried out for Phoolan turned unsuccessful, she was glorified by the sections of Media and came to be known as The Bandit Queen.’
  • V. P. Singh, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1980-82, had to resign from his post because of Behmai massacre.
  • It was this time that she was acknowledged as Devi by reverent media and hence, came to be known as “Phoolan Devi.”
  • Indira Gandhi Government negotiated a surrender with Phoolan through Rajendra Chaturvedi, SP in Bhind at that time.
  • She agreed to surrender with a condition that she would only surrender to Madhya Pradesh Police and not Uttar Pradesh Police. With few more conditions that included not to impose any death penalty on her fellow gang members, the term for other gang members not to exceed eight years, a plot of land to be given to her, and her family should be escorted by police to witness her surrender.
  • She had a condition more that she would lay down her hands only before the pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and goddess Durga; not to police.
  • She was first released on parole in 1994 after intercession by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, the leader of the Nishadha community (another name for the Mallah community of boatmen and fisherfolk).
  • During her course in prison, Phoolan Devi was operated on ovarian cysts and underwent a hysterectomy.
  • The doctor reportedly joked about the operation saying that they don’t want to breed more Phoolan Devi’s.
  • On 15 February 1995, Phoolan Devi and her husband Umeed Singh converted to Buddhism in Deekshabhoomi, the famous Buddhist site.
  • Phoolan was shot dead outside her Delhi bungalow by three gunmen. She was hit nine times, on head, chest, shoulder, and right arm.
  • The gunmen fled the scene in a Maruti 800 car and later abandoned the car in mid-way boarding an auto rickshaw.
  •  The police recovered a Webley & Scott pistol and an improvised firearm, an IOF .32 Revolver from the spot, along with nine empty and 15 live rounds, from the car. But before any forensic tests could be performed on them, revolvers disappeared.
  • Phoolan’s sister Munni Devi later accused her husband Ummed Singh of being involved in Phoolan’s murder.
  • Sher Singh Rana was the main accuse of the case, who walked into the police station and confessed his crime. He said that he was motivated to take revenge on her for her actions to kill upper caste men as a leader of the bandit gang.
  • Sher Singh Rana escaped Tihar Jail and reportedly escaped to Kandahar in Afghanistan, two years later he was caught in Kolkata. He even filed papers to fight elections for Uttar Pradesh assembly election in 2012, which he lost. Delhi High Court granted him bail in 2016.
  • Sher Singh Rana was helped by another Uttar Pradesh-based Subhash Thakur, who gave him Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month as a personal expense.
  • Sher Singh Rana has written his autobiography  entitled “Jail Diary: Tihar Se Kabul-Kandhar Tak
    “of being in prison for the murder of Phoolan Devi.
  • Following the assault on well known Indian film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Jaipur on the sets of Padmaavat (2018). Reportedly, it came to light that Sher Singh Rana threatened him that he would be slapped if he did not budge.
  • Shekhar Kapur made the movie “Bandit Queen (1983)” on her life and 1983 surrender. The film brought Phoolan Devi an international recognition.
  • Author-activist Arundhati Roy in her film review entitled “The Great Indian Rape Trick”, questioned the right to “restage the rape of a living woman without her permission” charging Shekhar Kapur for exploiting Phoolan Devi and misinterpreting her life’s story and its meaning.