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CBI nabs one more in Bhanwari Devi case

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Jodhpur : In a major breakthrough in the case of Rajasthan nurse Bhanwari Devi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a man who is believed to be the owner of the jeep used to dispose of the body and destroy evidence, informed sources said on Wednesday.

With Kailash Jakhar’s arrest, the 11th in the case, the CBI may have also identified the location where Bhanwari Devi was killed as being near Osian village in rural Jodhpur, about 60 km from here.

But investigators are unsure where the nurse, who disappeared in September, was burnt to death or dumped in one of the many lime kilns in the area.

“The man who owned the jeep which was used to take away Bhanwari’s body has been detained by the CBI. Jakhar is alleged to be a member of Bishnaram Bishnoi’s gang,” the sources close to CBI told IANS about the case that has seen former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh amongst those arrested.

“The location has almost been traced. Further investigation is on,” a source added.

In a chargesheet filed earlier by the CBI, it was alleged that three men kidnapped the nurse from Jodhpur’s Bilara area Sep 1, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram Bishnoi, who has been absconding.

The jeep, sources said, was used in the disposal of Bhanwari’s body Sep 1 after she was allegedly strangled to death by the three abductors, Sohan Lal Bishnoi, Shahabuddin and Baldev Jaat alias Balia.

A court had earlier issued an arrest warrant against Jakhar on CBI’s request when the agency failed to trace him. However, the CBI has yet not officially confirmed the arrest.

According to sources close to the investigation, sacked minister Maderna and Congress legislator 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 a 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 presently under judicial custody.

The CBI has also arrested Malkhan’s brother Parasram Bishnoi as well as Umesharam and Omprakash Bishnoi.

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