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'Hang me if I am guilty. If not, allow me to live in peace'

Reformed bandit and Samajwadi Party MP Phoolan Devi is fighting a tearful battle these days -- against Mayawati, Kanshi Ram and their combined decision to reopen 55 'fictious' cases against her.

''Hang me if I am guilty. If not, allow me to live in peace," the former bandit queen cries, ''Even without asking, Mulayam Singh Yadav's government had withdrawn all cases against me as I had already languished in jail for 11 years without trial. But now...''

But now, the Mayawati government was 'politicising' the issue, hanging a Damocles's sword over her head.

''After more than 40 years of battling misfortune and harsh environs, I am treated worse than an animal by a system that has lost its sense of justice,'' she continues, "I am not able to fulfill the promise I made to my voters. Had I known the cases were to be revived, I would not have contested!''

Firing a broadside at Bahujan Samaj party chief Kanshi Ram, Phoolan said he was running a 'money-making machine' by exploiting the the poor and backwards.

Phoolan reiterated her earlier threat of immolating herself at Kanshi Ram's doorstep. "Before that, I will sit on dharna from Independence day," she says.

But whatever happens, the MP assures, she will not take up the gun again.


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