Maderna made main accused in Bhanwari Devi case

Jodhpur: The CBI today named former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh as the main accused in the second charge sheet filed in the Bhanwari Devi case, accusing them of abduction and murder.

In the 97-page supplementary charge sheet filed in CBI court here, Maderna and Singh have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (abduction), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offender) of IPC and SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Eight others: Sahiram, Parasram, Amarchand, Umesharam, Bishnaram, Kailash, Ashok and Omprakash have also been named as accused in the charge sheet.

The agency had filed the first charge sheet in the case in December last year against three persons: Sohan, Shahbuddin and Balia.

Maderna, a former Minister, and the Congress MLA were allegedly being blackmailed by Bhanwari. Screen grab from CNN-IBN

Investigations against four others: Pukhraj, Dinesh, Reshmaram and Malkhan's sister Indira Bishnoi are pending, the agency said.

The CBI examined 300 witnesses in the case and the charge sheet has 93 articles and 317 annexures.

Bhanwari, 36, had gone missing from Jodhpur's Bilara area on 1 September last year following which her husband had filed a habeas corpus petition in the High Court.

After the state government ordered a CBI probe into the case, the agency arrested Maderna on 3 December and Congress MLA Singh on 19 December for their alleged involvement in the case.

Soon after her death, a CD was circulated which allegedly featured a video clip with Maderna and Bhanwari in a compromising position.

Maderna was removed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot from his ministry in October after his name cropped up in the case.

During the probe, it was found that Bhanwari was allegedly abducted and killed and her body burnt at Jaloda. Her remains and belongings were later dumped in the Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal which were recovered by the CBI.

Agency sources had said that Maderna and Singh were being blackmailed by Bhanwari Devi, who was allegedly having illicit relations with them, which led to her killing.

According to sources, Bhanwari had demanded Rs 50 lakh from Maderna with whom she was shown in a compromising position in a video clip.

She had also allegedly threatened Malkhan Singh that she would tell people he was the father of her youngest daughter at a Bishnoi community fair on 7 September.

PTI


Updated Date: Mar 02, 2012 16:44 PM