Maderna held in nurse case

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 3.12.11
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Maderna and Bhanwari

Jaipur, Dec. 2: Sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna was arrested in Jodhpur today as the CBI filed its first chargesheet in the disappearance of nurse Bhanwari Devi, who went missing on September 1.

The chargesheet filed in the Rajasthan High Court accuses Maderna, 59, and absconding suspect Sahiram of abducting the nurse with an intent to kill (Section 364 IPC), criminal conspiracy (120 B) and various sections of the SC and ST Act.

Maderna’s close aide Parasram Bishnoi was also arrested, CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra confirmed.

The chargesheet names three other accused, Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and Balia, who have already been arrested.

Maderna had confessed to an affair with Bhanwari Devi but denied any role in her disappearance during questioning by the CBI.

Bhanwari Devi, 36, an auxiliary midwife nurse working in Jaliwada and hailing from Bilada in Jodhpur district, went missing after she was said to have started blackmailing Maderna with a CD that purportedly showed them in an intimate moment.

Her husband Amarchand had lodged a police complaint after her disappearance, alleging Maderna’s involvement.

The CBI today quizzed Maderna for the fifth time and Parasram for the sixth time before filing the chargesheet.

CBI forensic teams had yesterday collected samples from some lime kilns at Bilara and Pipara in Jodhpur and recorded the statements of labourers. CBI sources said the nurse was suspected to have been murdered and her body disposed of in the lime kilns.

The CBI had started its probe on October 10.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot was forced to sack Maderna on October 16 after he refused to put in his papers.

A Jat leader from Jodhpur, Maderna is the Osian MLA. He holds BA and LLB degrees from Jodhpur University and was a first-time minister. His father, Parasram Maderna, was a tall Jat leader in the Congress and was seen as a political adversary of Gehlot when he became the chief minister the first time in 1998.

Jats form about 12 per cent of the electorate of Rajasthan.

Bhanwari Devi, who had starred in several Rajasthani music videos, was an active Congress supporter who sang and danced at party events and campaigned for many leaders in the region. She had lobbied for a Congress ticket in the local elections.