The police on Tuesday claimed four ‘new’ witnesses have given them a clearer description of the four motorcycle-borne assailants who had accosted senior journalist J Dey in Powai on June 11, before one of them gunned him down.
Joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy said on Tuesday that the four new witnesses were traced on the basis of fresh CCTV footage obtained from the housing societies in the Hiranandani Gardens area of Powai. “Some of these witnesses had seen the assailants from as close as 50 feet,” Roy added, while stating that the identity of all witnesses has been kept secret.
Roy said the description of one of the assailants, whose sketch was released by the police earlier, has been corroborated by the new witnesses, he said.
The police have also galvanised technical probe into the case by cracking two of the four email accounts of the slain journalist. The police have been able to retrieve 3,000 emails and more than 256 drafts from the twin accounts.
“These emails are a combination of his personal and professional work, some of them completed and some underway. We are analysing the contents of the emails for leads in the investigation,” Roy added.
Meanwhile, a senior IPS officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media, claimed the killing belies the traits of a typical revenge killing, but speaks more of a pre-emptive strike. “It appears that the killer/s (those who ordained the killing) were in a hurry and wanted to stop Dey from doing something,” the officer added.
The officer said if it was a meticulously planned operation (where the killer has ample time to plan the hit so as to eliminate any trace) the crowded spot in Powai would have been avoided. “It seems the killer was desperate rather than seeking revenge,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, Roy said the police were trying to find out who Dey had met during his trip to Western Europe (England, Ireland and Switzerland) in the last week of April. Police suspect he was part of a group that flew together from Mumbai.