In another major setback for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), another man arrested on charges of disposing of kidnapped and murdered nurse Bhanwari Devi's body, Tuesday refused to record his statement before a magistrate here, sources said.
The accused, Ashok Bishnoi, is a member of the Bishnaram Bishnoi gang which burnt the nurse’s body to ashes and then dumped her remains in a canal here, sources added.
Earlier, Omprakash Bishnoi, the brother of the gang leader and arrested on the same changes, had refused to record his statement before a magistrate. Omprakash had led a CBI team to a place near Jaloda village where the nurse's body had allegedly been burnt to ashes and the CBI and forensic experts had found many clues there.
"CBI wanted Ashok Bishnoi to record his statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to confirm that he was one of the four men involved in disposal of the body," sources close to the CBI told IANS.
Sources added that Ashok 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 Ashok is an important link in the case.
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.