CBI wants separate jails for Bhanwari case accused

The CBI on Monday submitted an affidavit demanding for shifting of former Water Resources Minister Mahipal Maderna and MLA Malkhan Singh from Jodhpur jail to separate prisons outside Jodhpur for “free and fair investigation”.

It said the two accused who belong to prominent communities are trying to influence the investigation in the Bhanwari Devi case. The CBI said that it’s also getting threats. The investigating agency, however, didn’t specify who is attempting to influence its investigation.

The Rajasthan High Court sent notices to the government to reply before March 2  as to what action it is contemplating under these circumstances. The next hearing of the case is on March 3. The CBI has also demanded for quashing of the habeas corpus filed by Bhanwari’s husband Amarchand.

Singh and Maderna were arrested a few months ago, and are currently in Jodhpur jail. The CBI on Monday said that it wants the politicians to be moved into separate jails. Investigators said that both men are powerful people and their relations are influencing witnesses from Jodhpur.

According to the CBI, Singh, a Congress MLA and Maderna, both had affairs with Bhanwari Devi—an auxilary nurse and  midwife who starred in local music videos. She went missing from her home near Jodhpur on September 1 amid reports that she was blackmailing Maderna, then a minister, and Malkhan, with a CD that showed him sharing intimate moments with her.

The CBI believes that she was kidnapped and killed and that, her body was set on fire by hitmen. Amarchand, who persuaded the court to file a case of rape and murder against Maderna, has also been arrested for allegedly assisting her abduction.

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