On Tuesday, the prosecution in journalist J Dey’s murder case examined two former members of Chhota Rajan gang who had given their statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on how Rajan’s gang used to operate.
The two former Rajan aides, Nilesh Paradkar and Prashant Deshmukh, had told the agency that Rajan used to communicate with his gang members in Mumbai using global SIM cards and Paulson Joseph was one of the key links. Both of them, however, denied their statement before the court. “The witnesses did not support the prosecution’s case and were declared hostile,” said one of the defence lawyers Santosh Deshpande.
Paradkar and Deshmukh were the 51st and 52nd witnesses in the case and the prosecution is yet to reach the motive behind the killing. The prosecution was examining the two witnesses to show how the gang operated but not only did they refuse to identify any of the accused but also said that they did not know Rajan.
The defence claimed that the prosecution has so far declared at least five witnesses hostile as they did not support their case. Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, however, said that there has been a good progress in the case.
“The progress in the trial is satisfactory. However, key witnesses are yet to be brought to court. The witnesses and their roles in the conspiracy are yet to be examined. But even then, there is enough evidence to prove the involvement of the accused in the murder,” Gharat added.
It is has been around a year and half since the trial in the journalist’s murder case started. The trial, however, is yet to reach the crucial stage where key witnesses related to the conspiracy behind the Dey’s killing are examined.