In a new twist to the Bhanwari Devi murder case, accused Indira Bishnoi on Saturday told a court here that she is alive and living in Bengaluru.
The counsel for Bishnoi, who was arrested on June 3 from Madhya Pradesh's Dewas, supported her claim saying the bones recovered from a canal by the CBI were not of Bhanwari and that the forensic report was not conclusive on this.
While the assertion left the CBI officials in the court amused, the defence counsel said, "It is only the version of the CBI that Bhanwari has died and that too on the basis of the statements of the witnesses".
He said that the CBI had claimed that some bones had been found in a canal and that too after four months of Bhanwari's disappearance.
"Even the examination report of those bones is not clear, which means Bhanwari may be alive," he added.
The court also sent Bishnoi to judicial custody after the CBI said that it no longer needed her remand.
Among the accused in the case, 16 are now in judicial custody, while one is out on bail.
Bhanwari, posted as an auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub- centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011. She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna in compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some news channels.
The CBI had said Bhanwari was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur's Bilara area on September 1, 2011 and murdered thereafter. Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, it alleged.
Maderna (65), who then represented the Osian Assembly constituency, was arrested on December 2, 2011 in Jodhpur by the CBI.