In the Bhanwari Devi case,the CBI has sought the permission of the Rajasthan High Court to transfer former state Cabinet minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh from Jodhpur jail as they are likely to pressurise other accused persons lodged in the same prison.
CBI officials said that Sahiram Bishnoi,the mastermind behind Devis kidnap and murder on September 1 last year,allegedly on Madernas behest,and Umesha Ram,who helped dispose her body,had last month recorded statements under CrPC Section 164 before a magistrate. Both have now asked that their statements be withdrawn and we suspect they are under pressure from high profile persons involved in this case. We requested that Maderna and Malkhan Singh be transferred out of Jodhpur jail to another prison, the official said. The CBI hopes that Sahiram and Umesha would turn approvers.
According to the agency,its investigation officers were receiving threats in the course of their probe and the Rajasthan Police have been already apprised about it.
During a hearing of the habeas corpus petition filed by Devis husband Amarchand in the HC,the CBI stated that this was a sensitive matter and that witnesses were being pressurised.
Additional Advocate General Anand Purohit stated,The HC adjourned the hearing to February 27 and directed the CBI to file an affidavit with details of witnesses being pressurised and threats to its investigators on record.
In the same hearing,Purohit prayed to the court that the habeas corpus petition be quashed since the CBI had established that Devi had been murdered,but the High Court refused this in the absence of a chargesheet. Sources in the CBI said that the chargesheet would possibly be filed before a CBI trial court in Jodhpur by February 27.
An auxiliary nurse midwife,Devi was kidnapped and murdered,allegedly on Madernas orders after reports surfaced that she possessed a video CD showing Maderna and her in a compromising position. The CBI has arrested 16 of the 17 accused,including Amarchand,Maderna,Malkhan Singh and the two gangs involved in the murder and disposal of the body in a canal.