The few that got away in the infamous scandal that rocked India

Sunil Gurjar[/caption] History is replete with anecdotes and records of despicable crimes. Crime prevention has been possible in many nations mainly as a result of retributive and punitive actions. Strong deterrent action is always a disincentive for committing a crime. While it is true that eliminating crime may not be entirely possible, as man’s emotions often become uncontrollable, resulting in irrational violent behavior. However, it is possible to reduce the number of crimes in society by handing down punishment to those who are accused of a crime. One such infamous case that rocked the collective conscience of a shocked nation was that of Bhanwari Devi in the state of Rajasthan.

While some of the accused have been arrested and are awaiting trial, many are roaming scot-free, due to many reasons. Jurisprudence is a complicated subject, and the manner in which it is interpreted determines the effectiveness of the justice system. In India, and in most other nations across the globe, it is well settled that punishment needs to be meted out to those who are proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. However, in many cases, due to various reasons, establishing proof of culpability in a crime is often impossible.

Courts rely on circumstantial evidence, and secondary evidence to establish the guilt of the accused. The mighty and powerful get away with crimes, because of the ability to make use of the loopholes in the law. The absence of primary or direct evidence to substantiate the reports of investigating agencies makes it difficult for courts to convict alleged defenders. In such cases, it is left to the indirect or secondary evidence, to establish the guilt of the accused. This results in creating escape hatches for the accused. It becomes more convenient for the accused if they happen to be men of power or connected with the right kind of people. The finest example of this is the case of the female nurse in Rajasthan who was exploited and finally killed for demanding favors and blackmailing.

Over a period of years, the nurse was exploited by powerful bureaucrats and politicians. This was more like a ring of like-minded individuals who got together to prey on hapless women belonging to weaker sections of society. Bhanwari Devi’s beauty and youth attracted this ring of depraved individuals. Unfortunately, the easy route to riches and fame appealed to her, and she became a participant of these illicit relations with the high and mighty. She sought and received favors from those who took advantage of her sexually. It is not just the good things that will come to an end, it is also the evil activities that will always come to an end.

This happened in the case of all the individuals concerned when Bhanwari Devi began making demands. She aspired to rise in the corridors of power and wanted to contest the elections in addition to receiving huge sums of money. A group of people who were exploiting her was in no mood to consent to her demands. When she attempted to use other methods to receive her due, the position of these powerful individuals ended up on the shaky ground. This led to the abduction and murder of the nurse was once the choice of these people to satiate their lust.

Investigation revealed that a minister in the Rajasthan government was involved in the case. Due to immense pressure from the media and the public, he ended up losing his position as a minister. He was unceremoniously sacked from the government and was asked to join the investigation. Mahipal Maderna, the ex-minister was taken into custody and imprisoned. Due to deteriorating health conditions, he was shifted to a hospital for treatment.  

Another individual who was closely associated with the deceased was Malkhan Singh Bishnoi. He was an influential person in Rajasthan politics and continues to have extensive business interests. He was allegedly another one among the group who was smitten by the beauty of Bhanwari Devi. He was repeatedly questioned by the central investigating agency, the CBI, he has not been arrested, and continues to manage business interests, like running a fraud NGO, defrauding millions in Rajasthan. A few characters in the plot are absconding from the clutches of the law and have managed to evade the investigating agencies for a very long period.

Among the important accused who are key to solving the crime is Sahi Ram Bishnoi. The investigating agencies have concluded that he is directly involved in the abduction and disappearance of the deceased. He was apparently available near the residence of the ex-minister during the time of the abduction. It is alleged that he had a direct role in the abduction and one of the reasons for absconding is direct involvement in the crime. The key to the success of the investigation was the arrest and charging of Sohan Lal Bishnoi.

The deceased was apparently on her way to meet him when she was abducted. The investigation agencies have concluded that he was part of the trap that was laid to make her travel on the bus from where she was to be abducted. He allegedly gave all information about her movements to the gang that was contracted with the task of abducting her. He is presently lodged in prison, and establishing his guilt is pivotal to the whole narrative of the prosecution.  

Another category of co-accused in the case are individuals who have been questioned at length but have managed to evade arrest. This has been possible due to a combination of reasons. One is the power of influence at work, and the other is the well-planned actions of the accused which may have been worked out to ensure that there would be no legal problems. Sunil Gurjar is one such accused in the case who is alleged to have played a very important role in the crime.

He is reportedly the person who helped the victim to get in touch with a power broker from Delhi reportedly offered to pay her use sum of money in return for the sleaze CD which she had made. The whole offer of a deal was probably a ruse to get her out of home and to prevent her from sharing the contents of the CD. While there is quite substantial evidence against the accused, he still managed to stay free from the clutches of the law.