Jodhpur: Sacked Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna was on Thursday quizzed by the CBI here on his alleged links with missing nurse Bhanwari Devi during which he is understood to have admitted that he knew her.

Agency sources said Maderna was quizzed for about six hours and he came out with "valuable information" about the case and his questioning is likely to continue tomorrow as he has assured the CBI of his "full cooperation" in the probe.

Maderna was confronted with statements of other suspects, his call records, details of his meetings with Bhanwari Devi, Sahiram and other suspects besides some recent recoveries made by the agency in the case.

The CBI is hopeful that it will get more details from him on Friday about the circumstances in which the nurse went missing, the sources said.

He has admitted that "he knew" Bhanwari and has provided "valuable information", the sources said, without elaborating.

The questioning of Maderna, who was removed from Cabinet by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on October 16 after his name cropped up in the case, came as the CBI prepared to submit on Friday the status report on the probe to the Rajasthan High Court on a habeas corpus petition.

In the plea, Bhanwari's husband Amarchand had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Maderna who denied the charge.

The call records of cell phones used by Bhanwari Devi's kidnappers indicate that suspect Sahiram was in touch with Maderana until the day she was kidnapped from Jodhpur's Bilara
area on September 1. The agency suspects that the 33-year-old nurse was abducted and murdered and her body burnt. The Rajasthan High Court, which is hearing habeas corpus
petition filed by Amarchand, had asked the CBI to submit on Friday the progress report of its probe in the case.

Bhanwari was posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur.

CBI has seized a camcorder and a computer which may be holding vital clues about the her disappearance and the agency has sought help of Central Forensic Science Laboratory as well as private experts to retrieve the data.

Officials suspect that the camera and computer might have been used to film and store some controversial footage which could hold vital clues about the reasons behind the
disappearance of Bhanwari.

The CBI on November 7 had questioned the kin of a Rajasthan Congress MLA and a suspended policeman in connection with the disappearance of Bhanwari Devi. The agency had interrogated Indira Bishnoi, sister of Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, MLA from Luni.

A few audio clips of purported conversation of Bhanwari Devi with Sohanlal, one of the accused, and Indira Devi, had come to light, agency sources said.

Indira had alleged that Bhanwari Devi wanted a "settlement" with Maderna and she had approached even Pali MP Badri Ram Jakhar.
(Agencies)