Bhanwari case: Court seeks action against threats to CBI

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 27, 2012 17:20 hrs

Jodhpur, Feb 27 (IANS) The Rajasthan High Court Monday sought an explanation from the state government and directed it to take action on the CBI allegations that investigators and witnesses in the missing nurse Bhanwari Devi case were getting threats, a lawyer said.

"Taking the CBI's apprehensions seriously, the court has asked the state government to take action and submit a report by March 3," said the state government's counsel Pradhyuman Singh.

The bench of Justice Govind Mathur and Justice N.K. Jain also accepted the CBI's plea that accused former minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator from Luni constituency Malkhan Singh be shifted from the Jodhpur Central Jail to some other jail, and directed the government to move them.

Both have been arrested for their alleged role in the disappearance and murder of the nurse Sep 1 last year.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday told the court during the hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed by Bhanwari Devi's husband Amarchand for tracing his missing wife that witnesses are being forced to turn hostile and the agency is getting threats.

Amarchand filed the plea before he was arrested by the CBI on charges of being involved in the conspiracy behind his wife's disappearance.

The CBI's counsel Panne Singh told the court in writing that the agency had arrested some influential people in the matter following which the investigating officers were getting threats and witnesses were turning hostile.

Amarchand, who was arrested Dec 8 by the CBI, had Sep 20 filed the petition in the high court, alleging some influential people were involved in his wife's abduction.

Bhanwari Devi, who allegedly features in a CD in a compromising position with sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna, had gone missing Sep 1 last year. She is believed to have been murdered and her body burnt.

Maderna and Malkhan are among those who have been arrested in the case.

"The case has almost been cracked as the remains of the nurse's body have been recovered. Her son Sahil has confirmed that some of the items recovered from a 25-ft-deep crater and the canal, including a watch and some jewellery, belong to her," said a source close to the CBI.

Teams of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory and the CBI recovered two guns, a gunny bag, a bat, some bone fragments, a charred mobile phone, earrings, a locket, a watch and bracelet during a search that continued for three days.

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