Bhanwari Devi Murder: In a first, FBI expert called to depose in trial

Updated: Jun 01, 2017, 12:00 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

In a first for murder cases across India, an expert from FBI has been summoned to depose in the in the Bhanwari Devi murder case trial

Bhanwari Devi went missing on September 1, 2001, allegedly abducted and murdered at the behest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna (right)
Bhanwari Devi went missing on September 1, 2001, allegedly abducted and murdered at the behest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna (right)

In a first for murder cases across India, an expert from FBI has been summoned to depose in the in the Bhanwari Devi murder case trial.

The 36-year-old nurse went missing on September 1, 2001, after a compromising CD went public, allegedly showing former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna with her. Her husband Amarchand alleged she had been abducted on Maderna and Congress legislator Malkan Singh's orders.

The FBI witness is DNA expert Amber B Carr, who had examined the charred remains found in the Rajiv Gandhi link canal that connects Punjab and Rajasthan's water supply. Special public prosecutor for CBI Ejaz Khan confirmed the development and said, "In my 25-plus years' career, I haven't come across any case where summons were issued for a foreign expert during trial. We are not sure if the expert will visit or if they prefer a video conference from the US."

"Carr had confirmed that the charred bones, teeth and part of skull found during a search in the canal were of Bhanwari Devi, after the samples matched the DNA of her mother and daughter," he added.

Justice Madhusudan Sharma of a special scheduled caste and scheduled tribe court in Jodhpur sent the summons to CBI's Interpol wing; it was forwarded to the Department of Justice, US, and then, to the FBI.

While the prosecution claimed that all seizures made at the canal belonged to the deceased and were evidence, the agency had sent samples to the FBI, as the latter had expertise to extract DNA from charred remains, and because its findings would be more reliable and undisputed during trial.

Carr is the one of seven witnesses yet to testify in the trial; 193 have been deposed. As many as 58 witnesses turned hostile, after which Khan was roped in; he suggested that another 85 be dropped due to concerns that they could be influenced by the accused.

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