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Another Indian bandit running for parliament

Another Indian bandit running for parliament

Seema Parihar was once one of northern India's most feared bandits. Now she wants to be a member of Parliament.
Parihar, who faces charges on 29 counts of murder and kidnapping, is running in a by-election today to represent the Bhadoi district in for India's Lok Sabha, or lower house of Parliament.
And she has a precedent for such a transformation.
India's famous "Bandit Queen," Phoolan Devi, became a member of Parliament in 1996 after a long career roaming central India's desolate valleys, allegedly stealing from and killing wealthy, upper-caste landowners who she said exploited poor, landless farmers.
Devi was murdered, while still serving as a lawmaker in 2001, by one of the upper-caste Hindus she had fought against.
"I want to be another Phoolan," Parihar told The Associated Press in Bhadoi, about 300 kilometers southeast of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.
"She (Phoolan) had done a lot for poor and downtrodden," Parihar said. "Unfortunately, she was killed."
Parihar surrendered to police five years ago, saying she'd had enough of a life of violence. She now preaches a message of peace.
Parihar, who is out of custody on bail, can run for elections because India's law only prohibits those who have been convicted from running for office. With India's backlogged legal system, that often takes years.


Updated : 2021-07-30 12:53 GMT+08:00