Rajasthan police have arrested one of the key accused in the abduction and murder of Bhanwari Devi, a 36-year-old nurse, in 2011. Indira Bishnoi was arrested from Dewas in Madhya Pradesh on Friday after being on the run for six years.
She was remanded in seven-day custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday.Bishnoi reportedly carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on her head. She was found living a life of anonymity along the banks of the Narmada in Dewas.
A family friend had been sheltering her. “A Rajasthan police team with help of Madhya Pradesh police arrested Bishnoi from Nemawar area last night (Friday),” PTI quoted Dewas additional superintendent of police Anil Patidar as saying on Saturday.
Bishnoi, who is the sister of former MLA and co-accused Malkhan Singh, allegedly played a key role in the disappearance and subsequent murder of auxiliary nurse midwife Bhanwari Devi. The murder altered political equations in Western Rajasthan significantly for some time. It practically ended the political career of Jat leader Mahipal Maderna, who continues to be in jail as a key accused.
Maderna was water resources minister in Congress chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s cabinet then. He was arrested in December 2011 and was charged as a key accused in the abduction and murder of Bhanwari. The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets against 17 accused, including Maderna and Singh, in the case.
Among the accused, 15 are in judicial custody, one is out on bail while Bishnoi was absconding. Bhanwari had disappeared after some TV channels had aired a CD allegedly showing Maderna with her. The CBI had said that Bhanwari was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur’s Bilara area on September 1, 2011 and murdered. Her body was allegedly handed over to another gang, which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal.