Phoolan’s assassin on parole instigated Thakurs in Saharanpur

Sher Singh Rana is serving a life sentence in Tihar jail for assassinating Phoolan Devi. While on parole he is accused of having instigated Thakurs to attack Dalits. And he is still roaming free

NH Photo
NH Photo


A man out on parole from Tihar Jail is emerging as one of the chief instigators behind the Thakur-Dalit conflict raging in Saharanpur. The man, Sher Singh Rana, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for assassinating former ‘bandit queen’ and the then Samajwadi Party MP Phoolan Devi in 2001.

The colourful assassin had earlier fled from Tihar in 2004 and reached the tomb of Prithviraj Chauhan in Afghanistan. Delhi Police had then tracked him down to Calcutta in 2006. He was eventually given a life sentence and fined a sum of ₹1 lakh in 2014. In the meanwhile he wrote a book, Jail Diary: Tihar Se Kabul-Kandhar Tak.

NH Photo by Vishwadeepak
NH Photo by Vishwadeepak
The entrance of Maharana Pratap Degree College, Simlana where instigating speeches were delivered in a function on the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap

Eyewitness accounts now claim that Rana was among the main speakers at the Maharana Pratap Degree College at Simlana to attend the function on the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap. In his speech Rana is said to have exhorted Thakurs to avenge the death of a Thakur in violent clashes in Shabbirpur village. He in fact is said to have instigated the gathering of Thakurs to march to Shabbirpur village but saner people who shared the dais with him had counselled restraint.

Unhappy with the lukewarm response to his provocative speech, Rana left the function in a huff , declaring that even if others do not follow him, he himself would visit Shabbirpur.

NH Photo by Vishwadeepak
NH Photo by Vishwadeepak
A poster welcoming the controversial upper cast leader Suresh Rana

One of the organisers of the function Rakesh Rana confirmed to NH that Sher Singh Rana had been invited along with controversial BJP leader Suresh Rana and BJP MLA from Deoband Brajesh Singh. While Suresh Rana failed to turn up because of a party meeting in Lucknow, Brajesh Singh had turned up with Sher Singh Rana.

Dalits alleged that Sher Singh Rana had attended secret meetings of ‘Rajput Regiment’ formed by him in a nearby village Ghadkauli. They accuse him to be the principal instigator with active support from Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Yuva Vahini , who orchestrated attacks on the Dalits.

While Rana was attending the function at the college, a group of Thakurs took out a procession in Shabbirpur shouting offensive slogans, Ambedkar Murdabad among them, to provoke the Dalits.

In a video interview with Forward Press, Sher Singh Rana admitted that he indeed was at the function in Simlana village but denied having any connection with “Rajput Regiment.” He also denied his role in the May 5 attack on Dalits.

Rana praised the Dalits for their role in communal riots and is heard saying in the video, “I will praise them for one thing…whenever there are communal riots between Hindu and Muslims, the Dalits fight. Suppose a riot breaks out in the town these people from Valmiki and Jatav communities would teach a lesson to Muslims” in the video.

The question is why the UP Government has not yet arrested the man on parole or moved to cancel it.

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Published: 27 May 2017, 6:08 PM