Upper-caste killer of India's one-time Bandit Queen sentenced to life in prison for 2001 crime

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The upper-caste killer of India's famous "Bandit Queen" has been sentenced to life in prison by a court for gunning down the outlaw-turned-legislator who was idolized as a champion of the lower castes.

Phoolan Devi long roamed central India's desolate valleys, allegedly stealing from and killing upper-caste landowners she said exploited poor, landless farmers, before she became a member of Parliament in 1996.

She was still a lawmaker when she was killed outside her house in a high-security area of New Delhi in 2001, by one of the upper-caste Hindus she had long fought against.

The Press Trust of India reported that Judge Bharat Parashar also fined Sher Singh Rana 100,000 rupees ($1,650) at the sentencing Thursday.