Suspecting that the missing nurse Bhanwari Devi might have been killed, CBI on Thursday grilled sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna in Jodhpur on his alleged links with her and another suspect Sahiram Bishnoi.
The questioning of Maderna, who was removed from Cabinet by chief minister Ashok Gehlot on October 16 after his name cropped up in the case, came as the CBI prepared to submit on Friday the status report on the probe to the Rajasthan high court on a habeas corpus petition.
In the plea, Bhanwari's husband Amarchand had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna who had denied the charge.
Accompanied by his supporters, Maderna reached the CBI office where his questioning continued during the day, CBI sources said.
The call records of cell phones used by Bhanwari Devi's kidnappers indicate that suspect Sahiram was in touch with Maderana until the day she was kidnapped from Jodhpur's Bilara area on September 1, the sources said. The agency suspects that she was abducted and murdered and her body burnt.
CBI's questioning of the former water resources minister revolved around his call records, details of his meetings with Bhanwari Devi, Sahiram and other suspects besides some recent recoveries made by the agency in the case, they said.
The Rajasthan high court, which is hearing habeas corpus petition filed by Amarchand, had asked the CBI to submit on November 11 the progress report of its probe in the case.
The court had also slammed the government for its "escapism" in dealing with the case.
Bhanwari, 33, was posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur district.