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Protests against 'harassment' of Congress legislator's mother

Hundreds of people from the Bishnoi community took out a rally here Friday in protest against the alleged harassment of a Congress legislator's 80-year-old mother by the CBI in the name of interrogation. Amari Devi is the mother of legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi who has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Bhanwari Devi nurse case.

She is the wife of late Ram Singh Bishnoi who was one of the most prominent leaders of the Bishnoi community. Amari Devi was hospitalised Thursday morning after she appeared before the CBI for questioning at the Circuit House here Tuesday and Wednesday. She is undergoing treatment at the Mathura Das Mathur Hospital. The family members alleged that Amari Devi was harassed by the investigating agency during interrogation.

However, according to a press release by the Rajasthan Police on behalf of the CBI, the agency never summoned her for questioning. "She had come to the Circuit House on her own Tuesday and Wednesday. She came there to speak with a man who had been called for questioning," it said. However, people from the Bishnoi community claimed that the family members of Bishnoi were being harassed by the CBI. Under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, hundreds of people marched to the district collector's office Friday and demonstrated there.

"Despite being so old, she was summoned and interrogated. It was the violation of human rights. We have written to the National Human Rights Commission demanding that a case be registered against CBI officials for harassment," said Ram Singh, a representative of the Samiti. He added that the agitation will be intensified if action is not taken against the CBI officials. The investigating agency is trying to locate Amari Devi's daughter Indra Bishnoi, a prime suspect in the Bhanwari Devi case.

It is alleged that three men Shahabuddin, Sohan Lal and Baldev Jat alias Balia kidnapped Bhanwari Devi from Bilara in Jodhpur rural Sep 1, killed her and then handed her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram Bishnoi who burnt her to ashes and dumped her remains in a canal. Bishnaram Bishnoi and his three accomplices -- Kailash Bishnoi, Omprakash Bishnoi and Umesharam Bishnoi -- have also been arrested by the CBI. Bhanwari Devi, shown in a compromising position with former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna in a CD, had gone missing Sep 1 last year.

According to sources close to the CBI, Maderna and 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 the CD.  The two politicians allegedly roped in Sahiram Bishnoi, who hired Sohan Lal, Balia and Shahabuddin for the task of kidnapping the nurse. Bhanwari Devi's husband Amarchand was also arrested on suspicion over his involvement in his wife's disappearance.

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