Every single day there are thousands of cases being filed in police stations – some are cases that happened at the spur of the moment, some are preplanned, and some are professionally carried out. Among the cases that have tugged at our conscience for the brutality and perversion, the Bhanwari Devi case of Rajasthan stands out as one of the most heinous crimes. It has been many years since the actual crime was committed, however, it has still not yet been concluded due to delay in the trial and the fact that few individuals have managed to evade arrest and questioning in the case.
Public memory is always short and most individuals often read about the very latest incidents, letting the past fade away. However, for the family members of the victim, the long wait for justice and the perceived lack of action may have traumatic effects. It is true that the agencies involved in the investigation did a commendable job in identifying the main accused and taking them into custody. To give credit where credit is due, the government at that time sacked the main accused, a minister from his job for having refused to step down following the outcry and exposure of the case. However, a few individuals who are directly involved in the crime are absconding, while others are enjoying liberty despite a clear link to the case.
Bhanwari Devi the nurse fell into the wrong circle, on being employed in the state health department. Her looks and her consent to illicit relations with many powerful bureaucrats and people in government finally took a twist and she ended up losing her life in the most brutal manner. She became a victim to the insatiable lust of the group of perverted individuals that included MahipalMaderna, the ex-minister, senior officials in various government departments, and political leaders. The group apparently was united in their desire to take advantage of women from weaker sections of society.
Things seemed to go right for quite some time, and the relations between the perpetrators of the crime and the deceased took a turn downhill when she started making demands to fulfill her ambitions and aspirations. When her relationship brought her many favors in the form of additional income and luxury, she started harboring a desire to acquire more wealth and to become powerful. She slowly turned into a mini power center, facilitating transfers and promotions of individuals. When her aspirations increased, the group members felt that it was difficult to accommodate the demands. She sought a ticket to contest the elections in addition to more funds for her family. However, the moment she tried to read into political territory, the leaders felt threatened as they did not want to give space to a woman and to someone whom they considered as an object for gratification.
In pursuance of her demands, she apparently made a video recording of her compromising position and acts with the minister. She intended to use that to blackmail the minister into submitting to her demands. As per the investigation, the group got together to conspire and hatch a plan to eliminate her, after efforts to placate her were not successful. As per the plan she was offered huge sums of money by a powerful person from Delhi, and this was done to ensure that she stayed silent. The group gained her confidence with this offer and then made the next move of getting her abducted and eliminated. There are various players, in this case, some who have been arrested, while some who remain scot-free. The ex-minister was arrested and is in the hospital due to health complications. One of the key conspirators in the case, who is alleged to have had a big role in the abduction and murder, is missing.
A few individuals have been questioned repeatedly but continue to stay free from arrest. One is Sunil Gurjar, who was allegedly instrumental in getting the victim to get in touch with the power broker from Delhi. There are also allegations that he was responsible for making the sleaze CD by conniving with the victim. Similarly, there are allegations that he was the one who had distributed copies of the CD much before the case came into the public domain. If both the allegations are true, then he is apparently the most important person in the case. His role in arranging for discussions between the mediator and the victim, when seen against the perspective of having been the main hand in the making of the video CD, gives a clear picture of his role.
However, luck seems to be in his favor, as he is yet to be arrested despite the alleged role. He has managed to convince the investigation that he is not involved. He has in fact managed to convince those involved in the case, that he had cautioned the ex-minister about the existence of the sleaze CD. In interviews given to the media, he has claimed that he learned about the contents of the CD and informed the same to the minister. While there is no proof regarding his attempts to contact the minister, his very statement proves that he was aware of the existence of the CD long before the news came into the public domain. This essentially means that the allegation of his role in the making of the CD may be partly or fully true. This also partly or fully substantiates the allegations that he had a role in distributing the CD.
His attempt to portray himself as an innocent individual, who had no role in any of the activities, will certainly not cut ice with the public. This is because of the different allegations that he is facing in society. It is not just the sleaze CD case, but his involvement in running an NGO that is believed to have defrauded a very large number of people of small sums of money. This small amount collected from individuals works out to a very huge amount. He also has a case filed against him by his own family member regarding monetary transactions that have not been honored. All this clearly indicates that he has a huge desire to acquire wealth through ill-gotten means. This also proves that he is influential in many circles, which actually permits him to carry on with all of his nefarious activities without getting into trouble.