The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday arrested Umesha Ram Bishnoi, one more accused in the case of missing nurse Bhanwari Devi, sources said. It is the ninth arrest in the case.
Umesha Ram surrendered before a Rajasthan Police officer here in the afternoon and was then handed over to the CBI.
"Umesha Ram is a friend of Sahiram Bishnoi, who is the key suspect in Bhanwari Devi’s abduction and suspected murder on Sep 1,” sources in the CBI told IANS. Sahiram also surrendered before a court here Saturday. He was sent to CBI custody till Jan 2.
Those who have been arrested so far include sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna, Congress legislator from Luni constituency Malkhan Singh and Bhanwari Devi’s husband Amar Chand.
Sources added that Umesha Ram was being interrogated at the Circuit House here by the CBI officials and would be presented before a court Tuesday.
“The CBI had called him for interrogation several times recently. Even a notice was pasted outside his residence, but he did not turn up. The CBI then approached the court and got an arrest warrant issued against him recently,” said a police officer, who did not want to be named.
A court here has also issued arrest warrant against four more people, including legislator Malkhan Singh’s sister Indra Bishnoi.
The CBI arrested Maderna in Jodhpur Dec 3 and Malkhan Singh Dec 19. The probe agency also arrested Parasram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh.
The agency has filed a charge sheet against the other three arrested accused in a court in Jodhpur.
On Oct 16, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sacked Maderna over allegations that he had a role in the nurse's disappearance as she was blackmailing him on the basis of a CD in which he was allegedly shown in a compromising position with her.
The CBI arrested Maderna Dec 3 on charges of getting Bhanwari Devi killed. It was alleged that he involved Sahiram Bishnoi, a small-time politician from Jodhpur, for the job. Sahiram allegedly assigned the task to kidnap the nurse to Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal Bishnoi and Baldev Jaat alias Balia.
In the charge sheet, Shahabuddin, Balia and Sohanlal were charged under Sections 364 (abduction with an intent to kill) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.