Bhanwari case: Setback for CBI as accused refuses to testify


Jodhpur: In a major setback for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a man, arrested on charges of disposing of kidnapped nurse Bhanwari Devi’s body, Wednesday refused to record his statement before a magistrate here, sources said.

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Omprakash Bishnoi had led a CBI team to a place near Jaloda village where the nurse’s body had allegedly been burnt to ashes.

A search by teams of CBI and Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) had found two guns, a gunny bag, a bat and some bone fragments, a charred mobile phone, a locket, watch, earrings and bracelet from a crater and a canal near Jaloda. Bhanwari’s son Sahil had confirmed that some of the items belonged to his mother.

“CBI wanted Omprakash to record his statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to confirm that he had led the agency to the spot,” sources close to the CBI told IANS.

Sources added that Omprakash was brought before a magistrate, but in a closed chamber, he refused to record his statement.

It is being considered a major setback to the CBI as Omprakash is an important link in the case.

Omprakash is brother of Bishnaram Bishnoi who was arrested by Maharashtra police in Pune last week.

It is alleged that three kidnappers – Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and Baldev Jat alias Balia – kidnapped Bhanwari from Bilara in Jodhpur rural Sep 1, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram Bishnoi who burnt her to ashes and dumped her remains into a canal.

Bhanwari Devi, allegedly shown in a compromising position with sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna in a CD, had gone missing Sep 1 last year.

The case has seen the arrest of former minister Maderna and Congress legislator from Luni constituency Malkhan Singh.

According to sources close to the CBI, Maderna and Malkhan Singh were hand-in-glove in the entire conspiracy as the nurse was blackmailing both of them.

Maderna was believed to be blackmailed on the basis of a CD showing him in a compromising position with the nurse.

The two politicians allegedly roped in Sahiram Bishnoi, who hired Sohan Lal, Balia and Shahabuddin for the task of kidnapping the nurse.

Maderna, Malkhan, the three kidnappers and Sahiram along with Amarchand, husband of Bhanwari Devi, have been arrested by the CBI. Amarchand is at present in judicial custody.

The CBI also arrested Malkhan’s brother Parasram Bishnoi as well as two others – Umesharam and Omprakash Bishnoi.