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Bhanwari Devi case fallout: Gehlot Cabinet resigns, reshuffle soon

Jaipur/Jodhpur , Tue, 15 Nov 2011 ANI

Jaipur/Jodhpur, Nov. 15 (ANI): Under sharp criticism over a series of recent controversies including the mysterious disappearance of a nurse Bhanwari Devi, the entire Rajasthan Cabinet resigned today thereby paving the way for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to carry out a reshuffle.


All ministers in the state government gave their collective resignation to Gehlot at a Cabinet meeting chaired by him.


"All the ministers took collective decision to submit resignation to show faith and express confidence in the leadership of Ashok Gehlot so that he can strongly can say before the party High Command in New Delhi that his team is with him," Shanti Dhariwal, who resigned as the state's home minister, told mediapersons after the meeting.


"For a long time, there was atmosphere of uncertainty in politics in the state and there were some directions from the party high command also so we found mass resignation an appropriate step to strengthen Gehlot. Now, the cabinet reshuffle will take place in near future as per the direction of the High Command," he added.


Asserting that the state government has taken up the Bhanwari Devi case seriously, Gehlot had earlier on Monday expressed hope that the mystery behind the unfortunate disappearance of a nurse would be revealed with the arrest of four prime suspects.


Gehlot said the investigations are going on in the right direction, and added that he had chaired two important meetings to discuss the progress in the case since Sunday.


Meanwhile, following the orders of Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court to expedite the probe in the in the Bhanwari Devi case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raid at the premises of a kin of a Congress legislator.


Around 20 to 22 officials of the investigating agency conducted a thorough examination of the entire residence of Indira Bishnoi, the sister of Congress legislator Malkhan Singh, who is considered to be a rival of sacked Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna, an accused in Bhanwari Devi case.


"CBI officials came here (at the residence). They searched the entire house. After that they went to Bilara (a city in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan) and took Indira as well," Indira Bishnoi's husband Mohan Lal Bishnoi told mediapersons in Jodhpur.


To a poser on whether the CBI had arrested his wife, Mohan Lal Bishnoi said: "No, they have not arrested her, but they took her as well."


"Yes, I did ask them and they told me that they are taking her to Bilara in order to check the locker and they will drop her at home after the work is done," he added.


While asking the CBI to conclude its probe at the earliest, the Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court on Monday gave the investigating agency ten days time to submit the progress report on or before November 24.


The CBI would also resume the interrogation of sacked Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna, an accused in Bhanwari Devi case. Maderna had earlier skipped the questioning on health grounds.


The CBI has so far seized a camcorder and a computer, which may hold vital clues about the mysterious disappearance of Bhanwari Devi.t has sought help of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory as well as private experts to retrieve the data.


The agency stumbled upon the camcorder and the computer during one of its searches in connection with the case, but found that data has been erased.


Bhanwari, 36, was posted as auxiliary nurse and midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 kms from Jodhpur, and went missing on September one.


Her husband, Amarchand, has alleged she was abducted at the behest of Maderna and his associates.


The charges were denied by Maderna, who was sacked by Chief Minister Gehlot on October 16.


Earlier this month, the CBI has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information about whereabouts of Bhanwari.


The investigating agency also announced another Rs one lakh for information leading to the arrest of absconding accused Sahiram, who is suspected to be the mastermind behind Devi's disappearance. (ANI)


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