Jodhpur: A key accused in the Bhanwari Devi abduction and murder case, Kailash Jakhar, on Thursday managed to escape from police custody in the court premises with the help of some accomplices.
The accomplices of Kailash Jakhar, who is accused in several other cases also, opened fire to create panic in the court premises and took him away in a car.
Jakhar and Bishana Ram Bishnoi, who were under Judicial Custody, were taken to the local court in connection with a case of firing. They were under the custody of five security personnel.
In the court, around a dozen people were already waiting for them and three vehicles were kept stationary around the premises.
"As soon as the security personnel and both the accused came out of the court room after trial, they opened fire to create panic and abducted Jakhar," Jodhpur Police Commissioner Bhupendra Dak said.
"Police retaliated and opened fire at them. Bishnoi also wanted to escape but he could not escape. We caught one of the miscreants identified as Hanuman Ram and seized one vehicle on the spot," he said, adding, that one more vehicle which was stationary on the outskirts of the city was also seized.
"It was a serious lapse in security. Since both the accused are involved in several criminal cases, we had asked the jail authorities to produce them in the court with handcuffs but the accused were without handcuffs today," he said.
Jakhar and Bishnoi are accused in Bhanwari Devi abduction and murder case but they were taken in the local court for trial in some other case on Thursday.
"Several teams have been dispatched to different places in search of Jakhar," he added.
Bhanwari Devi, a trained midwife and nurse, went missing from Jodhpur's Bilara area on September 1, 2010. The remains of her body were dumped in a canal in Jaloda village and were recovered by the CBI four months later.
The investigating agency has filed three chargesheets in the case. The CBI in its chargesheet said three men - Shahabuddin, Sohan lal and Baldev Jat alias Balia - kidnapped Bhanwari from Bilara in Jodhpur rural area on September 1 at the alleged behest of former Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, killed her and then handed over her body to a gang of criminals headed by Bishnaram.
The gang burnt the body to ashes and dumped her remains in a canal.
The CBI also claimed in the chargesheet that Bhanwari was blackmailing Maderna and Malkhan on the basis of a CD showing both in a compromising position with her.
The agency had on February 29 filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case, naming Maderna as the mastermind behind the nurse's disappearance and subsequent murder.
The chargesheet contained accounts of 300 witnesses and 313 documents in evidence.
According to the chargesheet, Malkhan had not been given a ministerial birth in the cabinet in 2008 when the Congress came to power and that is why the CD was prepared, which became the foundation of Bhanwari's kidnapping and murder.
The CBI has chargesheeted Maderna, Malkhan Singh, Indra Bishnoi and Malkhan Singh's brother Parasram Bishnoi as the key conspirators while 11 others -- including Sohan Lal, Shahabuddin and Baldev Jat alias Balia, Umesha Ram, Sahi Ram Bishnoi, Bishna Ram Bishnoi, Om Prakash Bishnoi, Kailash Jakhar and Ashok Bishnoi -- have been named the murderers.
Bhanwari's husband Amarchand has also been booked for criminal conspiracy. Indra Bishnoi is still on the run.
Most of the accused were booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections for murder, kidnap, criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence.
(With additional inputs from PTI)