The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has zeroed in on a Jodhpur gang for allegedly disposing of the body of missing nurse Bhanwari Devi at the behest of her alleged abductors.
The CBI announced a reward of R5 lakh for information on Bishna Ram Bishnoi, the leader of the gang, who is absconding. According to a CBI source, Bishnoi is currently facing around 44 cases of serious crimes in Jodhpur and other districts.
“There were two gangs involved in the crime. The first — comprising arrested suspects Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and absconding suspect Sahi Ram Bishnoi — had abducted Bhanwari Devi. Shahabuddin revealed that he had then sub-contracted the job of disposing off her body to Bishnoi’s gang,” said the source.
It is suspected that Shahabuddin, who was arrested on October 22, provided the lead on Bishnoi.
“While Shahabuddin claimed he had only abducted her, we suspect he and Sohan Lal might have killed her before handing over the body to Bishnoi. Bishnoi could have killed her as well,” said the source.
The CBI suspects Bhanwari was kidnapped, and possibly eliminated, allegedly at the behest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna since she was blackmailing him with a sex CD.
Maderna, who was arrested by the CBI last week, was interrogated in Delhi on Monday. He has denied any role in her abduction or murder, while admitting to having been sexually involved with her.
“Maderna is still evasive in his answers, he feigns ignorance about events related to the crime,” said the source. The CBI is likely to make him undergo scientific tests including polygraph, brain-mapping and narco analysis. The agency feels that Maderna’s absence in Jodhpur might “embolden important witnesses to turn up and talk about the crime”.