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Bhanwari Devi case: More arrests, place where body dumped identified

Four months after she went missing and with several arrested in the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday identified the location where Rajasthan nurse Bhanwari Devi's body was disposed of after she was kidnapped and burnt to ashes Sep 1, sources said.

The CBI took Omprakash Bishnoi, who was arrested in connection with the case, to a place near Jaloda village where the nurse's body was burnt.

"Omprakash told the agency that the remains of her body were dumped into a canal near the village," sources told IANS.

The location of the body was the biggest mystery in the case, which the CBI has apparently solved.

Omprakash is the brother of Bishnaram Bishnoi who was held near Pune by Maharashtra police Wednesday morning. The CBI had announced a cash reward of Rs.5,00,000 on Bishnaram saying that he was involved in the disposal of the nurse's body.

A team from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory is expected to arrive in Jodhpur from New Delhi Thursday and inspect the place where the body was brunt.

Earlier in the day, Omprakash was produced in the court of an additional chief judicial magistrate here and his CBI remand period was extended till Jan 9.

Pune police in a joint operation with CBI arrested gang leader Bishnaram Bishnoi in Lonavala, 70 km from Pune.

"Acting on a tip off, a team of crime branch officials raided various locations in and around Pune Tuesday night. In a breakthrough this morning, the officials went to Lonavala where they arrested Bishnaram Bishnoi after raiding several locations," Pune Commissioner of Police Meeran Borwankar told reporters.

"The court has given a two-day transit remand to Bishnoi, during which CBI officials will take him to Rajasthan for further questioning and investigation," Borwankar said.

In Rajasthan, informed sources said the CBI arrested Kailash Jakhar, believed to be the owner of the jeep used to dispose of the nurse's body and destroy evidence, from Jodhpur.

"The man who owned the jeep, which was used to take away Bhanwari's body, has been detained by the CBI. Jakhar is alleged to be a member of Bishnaram Bishnoi's gang," sources close to CBI told IANS.

The case has seen the arrest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh.

In a chargesheet filed earlier by the CBI, it was alleged that three men kidnapped the nurse from Jodhpur's Bilara area Sep 1, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram Bishnoi.

The jeep, sources said, was used in the disposal of Bhanwari's body after she was allegedly strangled to death by three abductors - Sohan Lal Bishnoi, Shahabuddin and Baldev Jaat alias Balia.

A court had earlier issued an arrest warrant against Jakhar on CBI's request when the agency failed to trace him. However, the CBI has not yet officially confirmed the arrest.

According to sources close to the investigation, sacked minister Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh were hand-in-glove in the entire conspiracy as the nurse was blackmailing both of them.

Maderna was believed to be blackmailed on the basis of a CD showing him in a compromising position with the nurse.

The two politicians allegedly roped in a Sahiram Bishnoi, who hired Sohan Lal, Balia and Shahabuddin for the task of kidnapping the nurse.

Maderna, Malkhan, the three kidnappers and Sahiram along with Amarchand, husband of Bhanwari Devi, have been arrested by the CBI. Amarchand is presently under judicial custody.

The CBI has also arrested Malkhan's brother Parasram Bishnoi as well as Umesharam and Omprakash Bishnoi.

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