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Dacoity is criminal activity involving robbery by groups of armed bandits. The word "Dacoity" is the anglicized version of the Indian word ḍakaitī (historically spelled dakaitee, Hindi डकैती or Urdu ڈکیتی or Bangla ডাকাতি) which comes from ḍākū (historically spelled dakoo, Hindi: डाकू, Urdu: ڈاکو, meaning "armed robber") or Bangla ḍakat (ডাকাত).

  • Dacoity (Hindi: डकैती ḍakaitī, Urdu: ڈکیتی ḍakaitī, Bangla: ডাকাতি ḍakati) means "armed robbery".
  • Dacoit (Hindi: डकैत ṭakait, Urdu: ڈکیت ṭakait, Bangla: ডাকাত ḍakat) means "a bandit". According to OED ("A member of a class of robbers in India and Burma, who plunder in armed bands.") Dacoits existed in Burma as well as India, and Rudyard Kipling's fictional Private Mulvaney was hunting Burmese "dacoits" in The Taking of Lungtungpen. The term was also applied, according to OED, to "pirates who formerly infested the Ganges between Calcutta and Burhampore".

Known Dacoit (K.D.) is a term used by the Indian police forces to classify criminals.

The most infamous member of the Dacoit "profession" was probably India's Phoolan Devi[1]. But the title of the most legendary dacoit is held by Sultana Daku, Daku Man Singh and Nirbhay Singh Gujjar who was killed in 2005.[2] Between 1939 and 1955, Daku Man Singh had notched up 1,112 armed robberies, 185 murders, and countless ransom kidnappings.[citation needed] He was involved in 90 police encounters and had killed 32 policemen.[citation needed]

In recent times, Veerappan of Tamil Nadu state became one of the most notorious dacoits of Indian history, evading authorities for decades up until his shooting death in 2004.[3][4] He was active for a period of years in a broad swath of land covering 6,000 km² in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

In Madhya Pradesh State, women belonging to a village defense group have been issued gun permits to fend off Dacoity. The Chief Minister of the district, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, recognized the role the women had played in defending their villages without guns. He stated that he wanted to enable these women to better defend both themselves and their villages, and issued the gun permits to advance this goal.[5]

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