Lucknow: Fifteen years after her death, bandit queen and former Samajwadi MP Phoolan Devi — rather, her statue — has revived a intense caste war between OBCs and MBCs in Uttar Pradesh.
The Nirbal India Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal, Rashtriya Nishad Exta Parishad and Nishad Vikas Manch are up in arms over the refusal of the Samajwadi government to install a 30 feet statue of late Phoolan Devi in Gorakhpur.
The statue was to be installed at the Champa Devi Park on Monday to mark her 15th death anniversary but the officials refused to allow the installation on the grounds that requisite permission for the same was not taken.
Deliberations between the representatives of the Nirbal India Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal, Rashtriya Nishad Ekta Parishad and Nishad Vikas Manch and the district officials continued till late in the night after which the administration confiscated the 30 feet tall statue.
Sanjay Nishad, president of the Rashtriya Nishad Ekta Parishad, said on Tuesday that the Samajwadi government had deliberately stalled the function because it did not want the Nishad community to unite on the death anniversary of Phoolan Devi.
“Almost all parties have used the Nishad community for their votes but have not done anything substantial for the community. The Samajwadi Party used Phoolan Devi to get Nishad votes by giving her ticket to the Lok Sabha but after her death, the Samajwadis have not done anything for her family or for the community. Now that we want to revive her legacy, the ruling party is setting up roadblocks”, he said.
He further announced that the statue of Phoolan Devi would now be installed in 265 assembly segments in Uttar Pradesh. It is noteworthy that the BJP has set a goal of winning 265 seats in the upcoming assembly elections.
He also announced a dharna in protest against the government’s refusal to allow the installation of the statue. Meanwhile SP Gorakhpur Hemraj Meena said that the statue had been seized because it was being installed without proper permission.
Phoolan Devi, a bandit in the ravines of UP, had hit the headlines when she massacred 22 Thakurs in Behmai in Kanpur in February 1981 to avenge her sexual exploitation by a Thakur gang led by Lala Ram and Sri Ram.
In 1994, the then CM Mulayam Singh Yadav withdrew the cases against Phoolan and she contested and won the Lok Sabha elections from Mirzapur in 1996 on a SP ticket....