In a major breakthrough in the Bhanwari Devi murder case, the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that the bone fragments recovered from the Rajiv Gandhi link canal near Jodhpur in January belonged to her.
The confirmation, which came after exhaustive forensic examination by a FBI laboratory, is likely to strengthen the CBI's case against the accused, an agency official said.
The accused include the alleged masterminds — former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Luni's Congress legislator Malkhan Singh — and two gangs of criminals hired by them to kill Bhanwari and then destroy her body. The agency has so far filed three chargesheets in the case against over a dozen accused.
The bones sent to the FBI included fragments of a skull and teeth, which the CBI had recovered from the canal.
The CBI had sent the bones for forensic examination to the FBI after two top forensic laboratories in India, based in Delhi and Hyderabad, informed the agency that the technology to test "excessively damaged samples" was not available in the country.
On September 1 2011, Bhanwari Devi was allegedly abducted then strangulated by Shahabuddin, Sohanlal Bishnoi and Baldev, who were hired by Maderna and Singh. Bhanwari allegedly had sexual relations with both Maderna and Singh and was blackmailing them for money.