Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Saga of sex, lies, and a video tape

- Rakesh Goswami and Dinesh Bothra htraj@htlive.com

TOTAL RECALL A 37yrold midwife gets greedy and releases a sex tape, a plan to silence her destroys the political careers of 2 influentia­l Jodhpur families

Six years after the Central Bureau of Investigat­ion (CBI) closed the probe into Bhanwari Devi murder case filing three chargeshee­ts, the arrest of Indra Bishnoi by anti-terrorist squad of Rajasthan police on June 2 brought the case back into limelight.

The kidnap and murder of 37-year-old auxiliary nurse midwife Bhanwari Devi of Jodhpur jeopardise­d careers of two political heavyweigh­t families of the Jodhpur region – the Madernas and the Bishnois.

The pretty government nurse, posted at a health sub-centre, was close to both families.

She had illicit relations with Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, who inherited his father Ram Singh Bishnoi’s political legacy in Luni and was elected as an MLA in 2008. It later revealed during investigat­ion into the murder case that Malkhan Singh is the biological father of her youngest daughter. (Bhanwari Devi had three children.

When Mahipal Maderna, who stepped into the political shoes of his father, Paras Ram Maderna, got elected as an MLA from Osian and became a minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, the nurse developed illicit relations with him, too.

According to the CBI charge sheets, Bhanwari Devi made sex tape of her with Maderna with the help of Bishnoi’s sister, Indra. She (Indra) had a political plan – she wanted to defame Maderna with the sleaze tape and see him removed from the ministry. She thought Maderna’s removal will create space for her brother, Bishnoi, in the cabinet.

CBI said Maderna’s motive for killing Bhanwari was this tape.

For Bishnoi, the motive was the nurse’s threat to announce during a community gathering on September 7, 2011, that he was her daughter’s father. The nurse wanted Bishnoi to promise that he would marry off their daughter with the same pomp and show he had organised the marriage of his daughter. She wanted the Luni legislator to give at least 20 kg of gold and spend at least Rs 50 lakh on their daughter’s wedding.

The daughter was only seven in 2011 but Bhanwari Devi wanted money for her wedding.

Three Bishnoi siblings – Malkhan, Paras Ram and Indra – and several other members of their extended family are facing charges of kidnap and murder in the murder case.

Indra was missing for six years and was arrested on June 2 from Madhya Pradesh. The other Bishnois are behind bars since their arrest in 2011.

The CBI named 17 people as accused in the case, most of them Bishnois. Maderna is the only one from his family facing charges of involvemen­t in the murder.

In 2013 assembly elections, Malkhan’s mother and Ram Singh’s widow, 78-year-old Amridevi contested on Congress ticket from Luni, and lost. In Maderna’s political backyard, Osian, the party did not give ticket to his family members.

The nurse who misused the political clouts of the two families in her life destroyed them in her death. First ChArgE sheet filed on December 2, 2011 named Sohan Lal, Shahabuddi­n and Kumbharam alias Baldev. SEConD ChArgE sheet, filed on February 29, 2012, against Sahiram, Umesharam, Mahipal Maderna, Malkhan Singh, Param Ram Bishnoi, Indra Bishnoi, Amarchand, Bishna Ram, Kailash Jakhar, Ashok Bishnoi and Om Prakash Bishnoi

ThirD ChArgE sheet, on April 21, 2012, named Dinesh Bishnoi, Pukhraj Bishnoi and Reshmaram.

TotAl witnEssEs

CBI initiAlly named 298 people as witnesses. The agency later dropped 97 while five died before they could be examined in court MorE thAn 200 have already been examined then Rajasthan PHED minister, roped in Sahiram Bishnoi to broker a deal with Bhanwari Devi to buy out the sex tape.

involved Sohan Lal, Malkhan Singh Bishnoi’s cousin, to negotiate with Bhanwari Devi. Sohan Lal took 110 lakh from Sahiram to give to Bhanwari but did not pass on the money

reportedly wanted to help Maderna because he wanted contracts in the water resources department; also he wanted to help his cousin, Malkhan, whom Bhanwari was threatenin­g to expose. to

kidnap Bhanwari was hatched by Sahiram,

Sohan Lal and Malkhan’s sister Indra Bishnoi

was tasked with picking Bhanwari and handing her over to Bishna Ram gang. The gang was tasked with keeping her in hiding until the Bishnoi fair got over

Amarchand, was told that he should keep quiet when she goes missing. He got some money for being part of the plan.

killed in the struggle to get out of Sohan Lal’s SUV when she suspected foul play

gang cremated the body and dumped the mortal remains in Rajiv Gandhi lift canal Bhanwari leaves for Bilara, is Skidnapped by Sohan Lal Bishnoi and Shahabuddi­n. Her husband Amarchand files FIR alleging kidnap. Sohan Lal Bishnoi arrested.

Rajasthan government announces CBI inquiry. Amarchand files habeas corpus in the Rajasthan High Court.

Amarchand files a complaint in the Bilara ACJM court accusing Rajasthan PHED minister Mahipal Maderna of rape, murder, and criminal conspiracy.

Court directs to include the name of Mahipal Maderna in the FIR lodged by Amarchand.

CBI takes over the case, registers FIR.

CBI officials arrive in Jodhpur and take the charge of the investigat­ion from the police.

Mahipal Maderna is sacked from Rajasthan Cabinet.

Cash reward of 1 5 lakh announced for informatio­n on Bhanwari Devi; is increased to 110 lakh on November 15.

CBI files first charge sheet and arrests Mahipal Maderna and Paras Ram Bishnoi.

Amarchand is held Malkhan Singh Bishnoi is arrested.

CBI takes blood samples of Malkhan and the youngest daughter of Bhanwari for DNA test.

CBI arrests Bishan Ram Bishnoi and Kailash Jakhar, two accused, who had disposed of the body of Bhanwari Devi.

CBI files second charge sheet.

CBI files third charge sheet. Trial begins in the court of ACJM (SC/ST Cases)

Rajasthan ATS arrests prime accused Indra Bishnoi from Bhopal.

 ?? HT FILE ?? Bhanwari Devi
HT FILE Bhanwari Devi
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