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Mahipal Maderna was on Thursday quizzed for about six hours by the Central Bureau ofInvestigation (CBI) over his alleged involvement in the disappearance of nurse Bhanwari Devi.The questioning may continue on Friday.
Maderna has reportedly accepted before the investigators that he had an affair with the missing nurse.
"The questioning is likely to continue tomorrow (Friday). He has assured us of full cooperation and has given some valuable information regarding the case," said a CBI official in Delhi.
Maderna was called for questioning at CBI's local office at 11.30 a.m. and left around 6 p.m.
While the Congress legislator from Osian was being questioned, some TV channels aired a CD allegedly showing him and the missing nurse in a compromising position.
The CBI summoned Maderna for interrogation over his alleged role in Bhanwari's kidnapping. She went missing Sep 1 before which she was in possession of a CD.
Bhanwari Devi had gone missing from Jodhpur's Bilara area Sep 1. On Oct 16, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sacked Maderna from the cabinet over allegations that he had a role in her disappearance as she was blackmailing him on the basis of the CD.
Rajasthan's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party called for a transparent investigation into the case.
"This is an issue concerning all. Those who are responsible in this case should be rounded up," added BJP's Rajasthan unit president Arun Chaturvedi.
The CBI had also rushed a team to Rajasthan's Ajmer city following reports that Bhanwari Devi had a bank locker there and the CD could be hidden there.
In one of the two audio clips that surfaced Nov 3-4, Bhanwari Devi was allegedly heard saying that a CD was hidden in a bank locker in Ajmer.
JODHPUR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday interrogated the former Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) minister of Rajasthan, Mahipal Maderna in the abduction of Bhanwari Devi case.
Bhanwari (36), posted as an Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANM) at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, has been missing since September 1. Her husband Amarchand had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and his associates. The charges were denied by Maderna, who was sacked by Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on October 16. CBI had not questioned Maderna until today.
The former minister arrived at the CBI (Jodhpur) office at about 11.15 am. He was accompanied by a couple of his confidants.
The interrogation is being done a day ahead of the high court's hearing on the habeas corpus filed by Amarchand. It is also believed that the interrogation was prompted by the courts mounting pressure on the state government and its requisition of the progress report in the case. The court had fixed November 11 as the date of hearing for the writ. The CBI is also directed to produce the progress report of its investigation so far. It has been over a month since it started the investigation. The court's harsh observations and comments against the role of the state government in the case led to Maderna's termination from the Rajasthan cabinet.
A video CD, of Maderna and Bhanwari Devi, allegedly in a sexual position, is at the center of the controversial case. Bhanwari was allegedly blackmailing Maderna with the recorded CD. A deal was allegedly arbitrated by the accused- Sohan Lal Bishnoi, Sahi Ram Bishnoi and Indra Bishnoi between Bhanwari and Maderna. Three audio clips bearing the conversation between Bhanwari Devi and the three accused has disclosed that she was exerting pressure on Maderna to extort huge cash in return of the CD. In the audio clips, she was heard saying that the CD would be made available to the media if the deal was not settled.
Bhanwari devi sex CD released