The Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested Indira Bishnoi, the mastermind behind the murder of ANM Bhanwari Devi in Jodhpur. Two former MLAs and several others are already in jail in connection with this murder case that rocked Rajasthan nearly six years ago.
Bishnoi has been on the run for the past six years. The ATS made the arrest after it received information that she was living with a family on the banks of Narmada near Dewas in Madhya Pradesh. According to media reports, no cellphone or ATM cards were found in her possession.
She was carrying a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh. A family from Jodhpur that had moved to Dewas had given her shelter.
The ATS kept Indira under surveillance for nearly two months and confirmed her identity before making a move. Her appearance has completely changed over the past six years. Senior ATS officials constituted police teams to keep a watch on her.
“She was staying with a family from poor background. Despite having no disguises, the changes in her appearance were surprising. The family had shifted to Dewas nearly 50 years ago,” said a police officer.
Indira will be handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is investigating the case.
Bhanwari Devi – a midwife and nurse – was blackmailing Indira’s brother Malkhan Singh Bishnoi who was an MLA in the previous Congress government. It is alleged that Bhanwari Devi had a daughter from Malkhan and she was demanding inheritance rights for the child. A DNA test proved Malkhan had fathered the child.
Bhanwari had two children – one boy, aged 18, and one girl, aged 7. The then Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had promised financial compensation and assistance with work and education for the children since they were facing social stigma.