Kavita Bajeli-Datt in New Delhi
Ten days before her murder, Phoolan Devi told her mother that she was afraid that husband Umed Singh could get her killed over her vast property.
"She told me Umed could kill her. She was so afraid that she avoided contact with him. She had even stopped sleeping with him because she thought he might wring her neck," the 60-year-old mother, Mula Bai, said on Wednesday.
Phoolan Devi, a Samajwadi Party MP, was shot dead outside her official residence on July 25 when she returned for lunch from Parliament House. The four suspected killers have been arrested.
Mula Bai said Umed Singh, who married Phoolan about six years ago, "stayed with her for the money but they never lived as husband and wife."
"They used to have constant fights. I can't tell you what all he used to do to extract money out of her."
Munni Devi, Phoolan's younger sister, was more vocal: "Umed is involved in the murder," she said.
Umed Singh said he was in no way involved in the killing and that the police should get to the bottom of the incident.
"His tears are fake, and he wants to use the opportunity to enter politics.
His affection for Phoolan is a facade. He claims he is married to my sister,
but where is the proof?" Munni Devi said.
"No one from our family attended the so-called marriage. I have been with my
sister ever since she was released from jail in 1994. I don't know anything about the marriage."
Phoolan Devi, who became known as the 'Bandit Queen' after she shot dead 22
upper caste Hindu men in Uttar Pradesh in 1981, was jailed for 11 years
after she surrendered in 1983. She became an MP in 1996 and was re-elected in
The slain MP's lawyer, Kamini Jaiswal, said Phoolan wanted to divorce Umed Singh in 1999 and had filed a divorce petition in May this year.
"Phoolan was most disturbed with her husband," she said.
Munni Devi said: "The police should investigate where Umed Singh was when my sister was murdered. He used to normally leave the house in the afternoon
but on that day he left in the morning."
Umed Singh claimed that he was around 15 km away from the murder site. The police has interrogated him.
Munni Devi claimed that a day before Phoolan was murdered she was planning to make a will, leaving nothing for Umed Singh.
"It seems that he came to know all about it."
Indo-Asian News Service
Phoolan Devi Murder: The Complete Coverage
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