Sher Singh Rana is the murderer responsible for the 2001 vendetta-related assassination of Indian dacoit-turned-parliamentarian Phoolan Devi. He managed to escape from Tihar Jail in 2004, arrested again by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police at Dharamtalla in Kolkata in 2006. He penned a book Jail Diary: Tihar Se Kabul-Kandhar Tak.
In August 2014, Rana was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 rupees (approximately US$1,600) for Devi's assassination, as well as charges of conspiracy, after a 10-year trial.
Phoolan Devi assassination
Rana, along with two other men, murdered Phoolan Devi outside her home in New Delhi. At the time of her assassination, Phoolan Devi was a sitting Member of Parliament in the 13th Lok Sabha. Rana claims he was motivated to take revenge upon her for her actions as a leader of a bandit gang that acted primarily against the higher castes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Escape from Tihar Jail
Inspired by the stories of great Indian warrior kings heard since childhood days, Sher Singh rana decided to bring back the relics of Prithviraj Chauhan who was brutally killed by the then king of Ghor Mohammad Ghori after he captured him and took him to his place Ghazni located in modern Afganistan. It is said that PrithviRaj Chauhan’s tomb was located just outside Mohd. Ghori’s Tomb and those who came to pay tribute to Mohd. Ghori had to first insult Prithviraj’s tomb by hitting it with shoes. Sher Singh escaped Tihar Jail security in 2004 and then by travelling all the way from Ranchi -India to Bangladesh, Dubai and finally Afghanistan, brought back the relics of this great king successfully.
Rana reportedly said that after escaping from the jail on 17 February 2004 with the help of a friend Sandeep, who in the guise of a policeman pretended to take Rana to a Hardwar court. he went to Moradabad and checked into a hotel. He then contacted relatives who sent him Rs. 1 lakh through Sandeep. From Ranchi he applied for a passport in the name of Sanjay Gupta.
During the two-month wait for the passport, he visited Gaya and Benaras, where he met his "financer" Subhash Thakur, who was then lodged in a local jail. Rana then went to Kolkata, where he obtained a three-month Bangladesh visa. Rana claimed that he took a house for rent at Khulna and lived there, posing as Sanjay. After he fled to Bangladesh, he bought a satellite phone for Rs. 16,500 so that he could contact his relatives and friends without being tracked. Throughout his journey — from Moradabad to Ranchi, Kolkata, Bangladesh and Dubai to Afghanistan, — he kept getting about Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month as personal expense allegedly from the accomplices of an Uttar Pradesh-based criminal Subhash Thakur. He visited Kolkata often to get his visa extended. At times, he did this in Dhaka.
Abscondence and controversies
Later, he illegally travelled from Dhaka to Dubai. He was later glorified by the Hindu Kshatriya Sena. He also threatened Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali who was attacked by the Hindu Karni Sena while shooting for his film Padmaavat.
A trial court in January 2012 allowed Sher Singh Rana, to file his nomination papers from Tihar to contest Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Sher Singh Rana and he was released on 24 October 2016.