The moment common people hear the word underworld, three perspectives come to their mind; fear, terror and fame. The underworld or mafia is filled with people who have stepped on innocent lives and traded them for fame and money; However, men are not the only ones who have ruled the underworld and made a ferocious image. In this article, we discuss the lady gangsters of India who made their names heard all over the underworld.
15 Lady Gangsters of India Who Gained Fame in Underworld
Dons and Gangsters like “Dawood Ibrahim“, “Tiger Memon“, “Chota Shakeel“, and many others were famous in the underworld. But, it is lesser-known to the people about the lady gangsters who entered the world of terror and ruled it. These left their shadow of power, fame, name and gave their badass glimpse to the world.
Below are the most dreaded Indian lady gangsters of “Underworld”, who ruled the world with terror on their terms.
1. Phoolan Devi
Phoolan Devi was also known as a “Bandit Queen” and was a human rights activist; she was also a member of the Samajwadi Party. Later Phoolan became a member of parliament and was assassinated.
Phoolan was born in the ‘Mallah’ caste and she was physically abused by her extended family members. In her young life, she was married to “Puttilal Mallah”, who was also three times her age. Phoolan Devi was physically and sexually abused by her husband too and this made her run away from her home. However, she was caught again; This was her life back then, before indulging in wrongdoings.
Phoolan’s in-laws disowned her and later she entered the new phase of her life as “Bandit.” She was in a relationship with a married man, Vikram, and they began cohabiting together. Over time, she also built her gang who attacked the village where “Puttilal Mallah” lived. To take revenge, she dragged him in front of villages and stabbed him to death.
The Bandit was also a gangster with cause, she warned the people to not marry younger girls or harass them. Her gang looted people, kidnapped others, and demanded ransom. In later life, her gang was divided into two parts due to castism and quarrelled together. Phoolan’s love “Vikram” was killed in this which left her broken.
Since she was a gangster with cause, Phoolan left the gangster world and stood in elections for the betterment of people. However, bad deeds are to be paid in the same life and she was assassinated by three men in her middle life. She was a controversial figure but also a redemptive force against injustice.
2. Shobha Iyer
Shobha Iyer is one of the most dangerous lady gangsters in India. Provided that a red corner notice is issued in the name of Shobha Iyer. Because of her influence in the underworld, she was known as the deadly gangster, and there is hardly any information about her in the police records. Even the police had no pictures or sketches of her. There was a handsome reward on her head, as Iyer was difficult to trace.
Hiding for several years, without leaving any traces behind, she is surely one of the most threatening lady gangsters of India, who shook the underworld with her terror.
3. Jena Bai | A Women Who Dominated the Underworld
Jena bai was an older underworld regulator. Though she never had her gang, her “Nagpada” residence witnessed many guests of the underworld like; Karim Lala, Haji Mastan, and a few officers from the crime branch. She had a massive influence over the major gangsters and smugglers of India, they respected her and always obeyed her orders.
She was the most ferocious lady gangster, who held everyone under her control and led the underworld with her power.
4. Shilpa Zaveri
Shilpa Zaveri is not only a deadly lady gangster of India but also one of Karim Lala’s closest. She supported all the underworld activities in India and was one of the prime pieces of chess in Underworld.
One of the most infamous incidents of Shilpa Zaveri was one when she helped Karim Lala’s nephew, Samad khan to escape from the court. With her excellent driving skills, she drove to the court doorsteps and in a fraction of a moment snatched Samad from the eyes of policemen.
Shilpa proved her companionship to Karim Lala by helping Samad to flee away from the policemen. She was the most dreaded lady gangster of India, who supported the underworld in all their endeavours.
5. Seema Parihar
Seema Parihar was born in a poor family; at the age of 13 years, she was kidnapped in her village by dacoits, “Lala Ram” and “Kusuma Nian”. She later entered into the world of wrongdoings and became a dacoit too. Parihar married “Nirbhaya Singh Gujjar” and later returned to “Lala Ram” and became the leader of her gang.
Seema indulged herself in looting, kidnapping, and murdering; she also looted 30 houses, kidnapped around 200 people, and murdered around 70 people. Likewise to most underworld and wrongdoing people, Seema received several offers from political parties. Being deeply influenced by “Phoolan Devi,” Seema had surrendered to the police force and later joined politics.
Parihar had been switching several parties for years and later settled to the “Samajwadi Party” and still stuck to it. She had also portrayed herself in her real-life inspired movie “Wounded – The Bandit Queen” which was one of her emotional connect. Later, she participated in the 4th season of an Indian reality show “Big Boss” which let her introduce herself to a broader audience.
6. Haseena Parkar
The name that threatened the hearts, Haseena apa was the queen of Mumbai but her life wasn’t that way from the beginning. Haseena Parkar was the sister of the infamous #1 underworld don “Dawood Ibrahim” and was the closest to him in all the siblings. Always concerned about Dawood Ibrahim, Haseena Parkar was a strong will to take sides of Dawood in all his doings but didn’t involve in any harmful activities.
In her young life, Dawood got Haseena to marry one of his known good guys “Ibrahim Parkar” who ran a cafe and also aspired to become an actor. Due to Dawood’s activities, Ibrahim was killed by the rival gang and with kids to feed, Haseena became the queen of Mumbai. She was also well known as “aapa” or “Haseena apa” by people who meant elder sister in Urdu.
Haseena aapa handled all of Dawood’s activities and her other criminal doings such as kidnapping, extortion, and usurping major businesses under her and her children names. Despite doing wrong with people, Haseena also stood with people in their rights during bad times and power dominance.
There were several cases on her before she passed away in 2014 due to a major heart attack. A movie is also based on her real-life starring “Shraddha Kapoor” as “Haseena Parkar” and discussed her life and suspense. Hassena was the godmother of the underworld.
7. Rubina Siraj Syed | Gangster with Charm
Rubina is a ferocious criminal and was known as “Heroine”, as she used her charm to win men’s hearts and took favours from them. She made several connections in her way to supply food, arms, and money to the members of “Chota Shakeel.”
Under her “Heena” business, she ran illegal businesses for “Chota Shakeel”, and helped his gangsters by providing all the necessary supplies. The police later tracked her and now she is serving her punishment period in “Byculla” prison, Mumbai.
8. Bela Aunty
When there was a crackdown on liquor in the 1970s, Bella paid massive bribes to the officers and loaded trucks of liquor and passed them in the black market. She frightened powerful gangsters, politicians, officers of that time and under her reign, no one even dared to stop her deeds. Even the state excise department and its squads did not try to stop her vehicles, which were carrying spurious liquor into the city.
She was so powerful lady gangster that even underworld gangsters did not try to cross her path. The then underworld, “Vardhabhai”, could not stop her from supplying liquor in the heartland of Dharavi, Matunga, and Sion- Koliwada.
9. Anjali Makan
Anjali Makan was the most wanted criminal by the police in her regime and was mastermind in fraud. She had plotted a mastermind act and defrauded almost Rs. 1.5 crores from the bank. The frightening part is she is not yet caught by the date and remains free. The entire world is unknown if Anjali Makan is still alive but her name has been long pressed under the rotten files of criminal world.
She is one of the most savage lady gangsters, who shook the country with her ticks and tactics. From fraud to fraugery and counterfeiting, Anjali Makan has her name on every other fraud act.
10. Samira Jumani
Samaira Jumani was the ex-wife of gangster “Abu Salem”. After her husband’s arrest in Portugal, she told interviewers that “Abu Salem” was a violent psychotic man, and she was forced to marry him. She was also involved in various illegal activities like; extortion bids, frauds, and even bomb blasts. It is believed that she is now absconding in the US. Samira Jumani was one of the dreaded lady gangsters and was the most wanted criminal by the police officials.
11. Archana Balmukund Sharma
In the early 90s, a Dubai-based gangster “Irfan Goga” introduced Archana Balmukhund Sharma to “Om Prakash” aka “Babloo Srivastava” in Lucknow. Later, she became his girlfriend and indulged in his wrongdoings. Her killer looks made people call her a “Lady don.”
Despire being well educated, Archana involved herself in crimes like kidnapping and murders. Moreover, she also had her gang in foreign lands.
One of the infamous incidents of Archana was when Pune policemen were looking for her; as she and her other boyfriend “Fazal- ur -Rehman”, kidnapped and murdered businessman, “Sagar Ladkat”, who was the owner of a petrol pump. Her next target was “Raju Punwani”, a wealthy hotel owner in Kolkata but, this plan of hers could not succeed as the police got a tip-off. They raided the “Jodhpur Park” in Kolkata, where Archana was camping and she was finally arrested.
There are reports that Archana tied up with “Dawood Ibrahim” through “Fazal-ur-Rehman.” She kidnapped Mumbai based builder in 1997, and later she was arrested by Delhi police under the “Arms Act” but, was released on bail.
12. Gangubai Kathiwadi
Gangubai Kotewali’s real name was “Gangubai Harjivandas.” At an early age, Gangubai dreamt of becoming a Bollywood actress, and to chase her dream, she left her home and came to Mumbai with her boyfriend “Ramnik Lal.”
Her luck being denied, Ramnik lal had deceived her and she was sold into prostitution. Later, people called her the “Madam of Kamathipura” for her influence in the city and having connections with the underworld. She peddled drugs and ordered her men for murders.
Gangubai was not any common brothel owner; luxury was her taste and she loved having expensive items. She was the only brothel owner to own a “Bentley” car in the 1960s. For the well-being of the sex workers, she even met the, then Prime Minister, “Jawaharlal Nehru” to discuss the plight of sex workers and improve their living conditions.
Her story will be presented in the upcoming movie, where “Alia Bhat” will be seen portraying Gangubai’s role and this film is directed by “Sanjay Leela Bhansali” in early 2022.
13. Shashikala Ramesh Patnakar
Shashikala Ramesh Patnakar was a milk seller before she started her career as a drug peddler. She became ill-famous by the name, “Baby” in the world of drugs. Her name commonly popped out as the most wanted lady gangster by the police as she was constantly into drug peddling.
She was arrested by Mumbai officials when her property worth Rs. 100 crores from drug dealings was disclosed, and she was arrested in 2015. Now, she is serving her punishment of life imprisonment.
14. Reshma Memon | #1 Lady Gangster
Reshma Memon is the wife of “Tiger Memon”, and is actively involved in terror activities with her husband. The couple were the prime suspects in the 1993 bomb blast in Mumbai and were the mastermind behind “Black Friday.” To find her, Mumbai police announced a cash reward of Rs. 25000 and she was also issued a red corner notice by the “Interpol.”
The couple supported Dawood Ibrahim’s deeds and he is believed to have connections with terrorist elements such as “al-Qaeda”, and “Lashkar-e-Taiba.” Ever since the bomb blast, the couple is in the most wanted list of police.
15. Shabana Memon | #1 Lady Gangster and Partner of Reshma Memom
Shabana Memon is the wife of “Ayub Memon.” The couple along with “Reshma Memon” and “Tiger Memon” was involved in terror activities like; “Black Friday” and the “Mumbai bomb blast in 1993”, which killed 250 innocent people. It was believed that Shabana knew all the places of the bomb blasts.
With this blast, she became the famous Indian female gangsters in the underworld; Mumbai police also announced a reward of Rs. 25000 for their capture in the 1990’s. It is alleged that the couple is now residing in Karachi and on the hit list by the top agencies in the world.
Final Words | Lady Gangsters in India
These are not the only lady gangsters in India with their names engraved on the pillars of underworld; there are several female gangsters who still operate in India and a few from past still remain fled. These badass lady gangsters of India not only shook the underworld with their terror but with their deadly ideas gained fame and power in the underworld.