Bhanwari case: Noose tightens around Maderna

The CBI on Friday appeared to have made crucial headway in its probe into the case of kidnapping and suspected murder of Rajasthan nurse Bhanwari Devi.

Updated: Nov 11, 2011, 22:22 PM IST

Jodhpur: Sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal
Maderna was today grilled for the second day in Bhanwari Devi
abduction case by the CBI which also questioned his wife and
another Congress MLA even as the agency filed a status report
on its probe in the Rajasthan High Court.

Congress MLA Malkhan Singh, who represents Luni
constituency in Rajasthan Assembly, was quizzed by the CBI
followed by Maderna at its local office, a day after the
former minister admitted to the agency that he knew Bhanwari,
who was employed as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) at a
sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from here.
Maderna`s wife Lila and Malkan`s sister Indira were also
called at circuit house in the city for questioning.

After two hours of questioning, Indira was taken to the
CBI office where she was grilled along with Malkhan and

A CD allegedly showing Maderna and Malkhan in compromising
position with the 36-year-old Bhanwari, had come to light
after she went missing from Jodhpur`s Bilara area on September

Sources said it is believed that Bhanwari Devi was
introduced to Maderna some years back by Malkhan.

Indira had been questioned earlier by the CBI and had told
the media that Bhanwari wanted a "settlement of the deal" with
former Water Resources Minister Maderna and she had approached
even the Pali MP Badri Ram Jakhar.

Maderna, who was sacked from Cabinet by Chief Minister
Ashok Gehlot on October 16 after his name cropped up in the
case, was quizzed for the first time by the CBI yesterday.

Earlier in the day, the CBI filed a status report of
the case in a sealed envelope before the Rajasthan High Court
bench of Justices Govind Mathur and NK Jain here.

The CBI also requested the court to provide a Deputy
Inspector General (DIG) rank police officer to assist it in
searching Bhanwari Devi but the court advised the agency to
first approach the state government on the issue.

However, the court said that if the government does not
take any action in this regard the court can interfere.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed
by Amarchand, the husband of Bhanwari Devi. Amarchand had
alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna who
denied the charge.
The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled on
November 14.

Agency sources had said that Maderna was quizzed for
about six hours yesterday and he came out with "valuable
information" about the case.

Maderna had been confronted with statements of other
suspects, his call records, details of his meetings with
Bhanwari, Sahiram and other suspects besides some recent
recoveries made by the agency in the case.

Agency sources said that Maderna and Malkhan would
also be questioned tomorrow.

After the questioning, Lila Maderna slammed the media and
said "that recovery of any CD or having relation with someone
is not an offence".

She accused the media of trying to target her husband.