Bhanwari case: Rajasthan minister on way out



Jaipur: Rajasthan's Water Resources Minister Mahipal Maderna, who is suspected to be involved in the case of mysterious disappearance of nurse Bhanwari Devi, is being sacked.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is understood to have decided to send to the state Governor his recommendation to remove Maderna from the government after his attempt to get his resignation failed.

Sources said Gehlot had told the minister earlier to resign after his name cropped up in the case but he refused to step down.

In view of position taken by Maderna, the Chief Minister is believed to have decided to sack him, they said.

The CBI had on October 11 taken over probe into the case of disappearance of Bhanwari Devi in which allegations about Maderna's involvement have been levelled.

The agency has registered a case in this regard after the Rajasthan government requested the Centre last month to hand it over to the agency.

Devi (36), who was posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur district, went missing on September 1. Her husband Amarchand has alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna and his associates. These charges have been refuted by the minister and his associates.

The nurse last registered her presence at the sub-centre on August 24 and was absent after that. Locals say she led a lavish lifestyle and had political connections.

Her name had sprung up sometime back after a CD which allegedly showed her in compromising position with the minister and an MLA was circulated.

The Jodhpur police have already announced a cash reward of Rs 4,000 for any information regarding Bhanwari. The police had arrested a contractor Sohana Lal Vishnoi soon after she went missing.

The woman had sold her car to Vishnoi and was on her way to collect payment from him in Bilada on September 1 when she disappeared, according to police sources.

A few persons were also rounded up from Sikar district who told police that the woman was allegedly murdered by a gang in Uttar Pradesh, they said.

Bhanwari, mother of two girls and a son, had also worked in a few local music video albums.

PTI