channel P7 released a CD
Jodhpur: Sacked Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna was on Thursday quizzed by the CBI here on his alleged links with missing nurse Bhanwari Devi during which he is understood to have admitted that he knew her.
Agency sources said Maderna was quizzed for about six hours and he came out with “valuable information” about the case and his questioning is likely to continue on Friday as he has assured the CBI of his “full cooperation” in the probe.
Maderna was confronted with statements of other suspects, his call records, details of his meetings with Bhanwari Devi, Sahiram and other suspects besides some recent recoveries made by the agency in the case.
The CBI is hopeful that it will get more details from him tomorrow about the circumstances in which the nurse went missing, the sources said.
He has admitted that “he knew” Bhanwari and has provided “valuable information”, the sources said, without elaborating.
Around the time Maderna was being questioned by the CBI yesterday, the sex tape involving him and Bhanwari Devi (36) were telecast on selected TV news channels.
The questioning of Maderna, who was removed from Cabinet by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on October 16 after his name cropped up in the case, came as the CBI prepared to submit tomorrow the status report on the probe to the Rajasthan High Court on a habeas corpus petition.
In the plea, Bhanwari’s husband Amarchand had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna who denied the charge.
The call records of cell phones used by Bhanwari Devi’s kidnappers indicate that suspect Sahiram was in touch with Maderna until the day she was kidnapped from Jodhpur’s Bilara area on September 1. The agency suspects that the 33-year-old nurse was abducted and murdered and her body burnt.
The Rajasthan High Court, which is hearing habeas corpus petition filed by Amarchand, had asked the CBI to submit tomorrow the progress report of its probe in the case.
Bhanwari was posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur.
CBI has seized a camcorder and a computer which may be holding vital clues about the her disappearance and the agency has sought help of Central Forensic Science Laboratory as well as private experts to retrieve the data.
Officials suspect that the camera and computer might have been used to film and store some controversial footage which could hold vital clues about the reasons behind the disappearance of Bhanwari.
Bhanwari Devi(33) has been missing since September 1 and it is believed that the she was allegedly blackmailing the ministers in accordance to a sex tape.
The CBI on November 7 had questioned the kin of a Rajasthan Congress MLA and a suspended policeman in connection with the disappearance of Bhanwari Devi. The agency had interrogated Indira Bishnoi, sister of Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, MLA from Luni.
A few audio clips of purported conversation of Bhanwari Devi with Sohanlal, one of the accused, and Indira Devi, had come to light, agency sources said.
Indira had alleged that Bhanwari Devi wanted a “settlement” with Maderna and she had approached even Pali MP Badri Ram Jakhar.
In New Delhi, the AICC today said that the investigations into the case should be allowed to be completed and it will “not go by media trial” on the issue.
“Since there is an on-going investigation and the matter is being probed by CBI, it will be appropriate to allow the investigation to play itself out,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said responding to questions on the issue.
Tewari at the same time made it clear that the “party does not hold brief for any body” adding that it will not go by media trial on the issue.
With input from agencies