Another accused in 1981 Behmai massacre dies, only 2 men now face trial
Posa’s death implies that when the prosecution began its arguments in the special court set up for dacoity cases on Wednesday, it will be an effort to punish only two accused who are still in custody, Shyam Babu and Vishwanath
KANPUR: Posa, an 85-year-old associate of ‘bandit queen’ Phoolan Devi who was on trial for the Behmai massacre in Kanpur district in 1981, died at a district hospital early on Tuesday morning. Posa is the 17th accused including Phoolan Devi to have died after the court started proceedings into the massacre of 20 people, mostly upper-caste Thakurs, who were dragged out of their homes and shot dead on February 14, 1981.
Posa’s death implies that when the prosecution begins its arguments in the special court set up for dacoity cases on Wednesday, it will be an effort to punish only two accused who are still in custody, Shyam Babu and Vishwanath.
Posa, who was brought to Kanpur Dehat district jail in December 2016, was taken to the district hospital at about 5am on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated. Doctors said he died before reaching the hospital, said Kanpur (Rural) superintendent of police (SP) BBTGS Murthy.
Three other key accused in the case -- Ram Ratan, Man Singh, and Ashok -- have managed to escape the clutches of the law all these years. In 2009, Man Singh was spotted running a roadside food joint in Kalpi, Bhognipur, but he disappeared before the police could catch him.
Raja Ram Singh, who filed the formal police complaint, also died in 2021 during the second Covid wave. Before Posa, another accused Ram Singh had also died in jail. Phoolan Devi was murdered at her residence in Delhi.
Meanwhile, other dacoits such as Ram Autar, Baba Mustaqeem, Lallu Baghel, Balwan, Lallu Yadav, Ram Shankar Jageshwar alias Jaggan, Balram, Moti, Vrindavan, Ram Prakash, Ram Pal, Prem Pahalwan, Nanda (alias Maya Mallah) either died during this trial or were killed in a police encounters.