Dacoit - Encyclopedia

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DACOIT, a term used in India for a robber belonging to an armed gang. The word is derived from the Hindustani dakait, and being current in Bengal got into the Indian penal code. By law, to constitute dacoity, there must be five or more in the gang committing the crime. In the time of the Thugs a special police department was created in India to deal with thuggy and dacoity (thagi and dakaiti), which exists down to the present day. In Burma also the word dacoit came to be applied in a special sense to the armed gangs, which maintained a state of guerilla warfare for several years after the defeat of the king and his army. (See BURMESE WARS.)

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