Sex, lies and CD: A woman who knew too much

Sex, lies and CD: A woman who knew too much

Bhanwari Devi. Ashwini Vyas

The saying seems to apply to an over-ambitious auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) Bhanwari Devi which may undo her “success” from a simple ANM to the keeper of the secrets of powerful politicians in western Rajasthan.

Bhanwari Devi has been missing for over two weeks and the state government has ordered a CBI probe after the name of a cabinet minister came up.

Bhanwari Devi, 36, a Dalit, and a small-time actor in local albums, never looked back ever since her entry into the high Congress circles. It was alleged that she used her talent and beauty to achieve her goal. She amassed wealth beyond her meagre means, maintaining several houses and cars in the last few years. She used her clout with politicians in transfer and postings.  Her husband was just a driver and was branded a drunkard. They had a very strained relationship. The couple had two daughters and a son, one of them reportedly studying in Jaipur.

However, according to sources, she became over-ambitious. During the last Assembly elections she had demanded a ticket for the Bhopalgarh seat but was not successful.

Sources say Bhanwari was disenchanted with Congress leaders who used her and was planning to shift her political loyalty from the Congress to the BJP. She had started blackmailing the Congress politicians who shared close relations with her. She reportedly demanded about Rs 1.5 crore from a cabinet minister, claiming that she had a CD with the minister and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh in a compromising position. However, the CD was never made public. 

Sources say the ANM came into contact with Minister Mahipal Maderna (59) through his friend and Congressman Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, MLA from Luni. The police team investigating the case now have little hopes of getting her alive. They are working on the theory that Bhanwari Devi has been eliminated by contract killers. The police have some clue about the mastermind and are trying to put the pieces together.

The suspicion is on contractor and main accused Sohanlal Bishnoi whom Bhanwari Devi went to meet on the day since she went missing. Bhanwari Devi reportedly had a premonition of her fate and virtually confined herself to her room for a week. Bhanwari last registered her presence at the Jaliwara sub-centre on August 24 and has been absent after that. But, according to police sources, she was allegedly lured by Sohanlal Bishnoi to Bilara to make payment for a car she recently sold to the contractor. Sohanlal Bishnoi, presently in police remand, is an ‘A’ class government contractor and a relative of Malkhan Singh Bishnoi. Jodhpur IG Umesh Mishra said, “the police are looking for the second accused Sohabuddin who acted as a link between the actual abductors and Sohanlal”. According to police, Sohabuddin handed over Bhanwari to a gang operating from UP.

Police wanted a polygraph test conducted on Sohanlal but the court had turned down the demand. After the state government ordered a CBI probe on Thursday, Maderna, who had been keeping a stoic silence all these days, opened his mouth to claim that he was being implicated in the case. However ,he stopped short of who is behind the frame-up. 

He claimed in his defence that neither the FIR filed by her husband Amarchand nor the police mention him in the case.