In the dock over the alleged rape and possible murder of Bhanwari Devi, an auxiliary nurse and midwife (ANM), Rajasthan water resources minister Mahipal Maderna is now seeking divine intervention.
Even as inspector general (IG) of Jodhpur range Umesh Mishra appeared in the Rajasthan high court on Monday to testify in the case, Maderna invoked Lord Shani to absolve him of the charges.
The problems for Maderna began after his name was included in an first information report (FIR) lodged by Bhanwari Devi's husband Amar Chand, who has claimed his wife was abducted at Maderna's behest. She went missing from the Bilara area of Jodhpur on September 1, and police fear she is dead.
Bhanwari Devi allegedly had in her possession a sex CD of herself and Maderna and she was using it to blackmail the minister.
The bench of justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Kailash Joshi directed the police to make "serious efforts" in recovering the nurse.
The court reprimanded the police for being lax in the case.
At Shanidhaam in Shastrinagar, Pandit Mahant Hemant Bohra said he would perform the 11-day Shani Rakshatmak Mahakavach for Maderna.