Indira Bishnoi was one of the main people accused in the disappearance and murder of mid-wife Bhanwari Devi. She had been on the run since 2011 and was discovered last June in a shelter in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas and subsequently arrested. But what exactly was her role in this murder case? First, we need to look at where it all began, with the murder case. The murder case was responsible for destroying the political careers of two influential families in Jodhpur, the Bishnoi family and Maderna family.
Who was Bhanwari Devi?
Bhanwari Devi was a trained nurse and midwife who went missing in 2011 and was then found murdered 4 months later. During her time as a midwife, Devi made several connections with politicians. She soon came to realize that her sex appeal held a power that she could use to over these bureaucrats and politicians to advance herself. She was able to get the best postings in her career, and also helped others to do so for money.
It was noticed how quickly she amassed riches that were far beyond the means of a midwife. Her husband, Amarchand, worked as a vehicle driver and was an alcoholic. She used her riches to buy cars and several houses, as well as ornaments of gold each year. Over time, Devi became overly ambitious. It was in 2013 when she tried to demand a ticket to contest the Bhopalgarhstate elections and was refused that she resorted to blackmail these leaders.
Devi had recorded a video that was over 50 minutes long, showing these leaders with her in very compromising decisions. She demanded money in exchange for the CD. Of these leaders were:
Mahipal Maderna – one of the Rajasthan governments cabinet ministers
Malkhan Singh Bishnoi – a legislator who continued a decade long relationship with Devi.
Malklan Bishnoi was unwilling to believe repeated claims of him being the father to one of her daughters. He refused demands for a paternity test to be done and did not believe her claims of having the CD. Frustrated, Devi leaked part of the CD in August of 2011 to a local newspaper, which printed photos that included Maderna. It was also leaked to a local news channel. It was a few days later that Devi went missing, with her husband claiming that Maderna had ordered her abduction.
The Abduction and Murder
The CBI investigation found that the 36-year-old midwife was abducted from the Bilara area of Jodhpur on the 1st of September, 2011. She was murdered around the same time, with her body being given to a gang to dispose of. The body was burned and then dumped in a canal. It was 4 months later that the CBI found her body.
3 charge sheets have so far been filed by the CBI against 17 people. Of these 17 are Madema, Malkhan Bishnoi, and his sister, Indira Bishnoi, who went into hiding. Ms. Bishnoi is believed to have assisted in planning the murder of Devi with her brother. According to the CBI, Maderna contacted Sahiram Bishnoi, who was his confidante at the time. Sahiram hired a government contractor, Sohan Lal Bishnoi.
A plot was created between criminal Shahabuddin and the Bishnois’ to obtain Devi’s CD by any means possible. This took place before the leak. As part of the plan, Sohan agreed to buy Devi a car and make a payment to her. Devi was lured to Bilara by Sohan to make the last payment for the car, with the agreement that he verify the CD she claimed to have. It was then that she was strangled to death and her body was handed over to the gang for disposal.