A day after the Mumbai police announced that gangster Chhota Rajan had ordered the killing of veteran crime reporter J Dey and that it had arrested the seven-man hit team, the confusion and rumours about the possible motive have only increased.
Police sources close to the investigation told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that Dey may have spoken to Rajan just three days before he was gunned down at Powai on June 11. There is no official confirmation of this or of reports that the man police said was the main shooter, Satish Kalya, told interrogators that Rajan had told him the target (Dey) was a rival who had to be eliminated.
Sources close to the investigation say the police are also checking how the hitmen got such precise information about Dey’s movements that they could plan the strike in days. “Dey was a secretive person. He would never disclose his movements or location to even his close friends or family members,” the sources said. So the question is: How then did the hit team find out everything about his routine in such a short time? The police said on Monday that the whole operation was planned in 20 days.
Investigators were also trying to map the support structure of the hitmen: Who had paid them the Rs 5 lakh they got in two instalments — Rs 2 lakh at Chembur and Rs 3 lakh later at Nallasopara.
Adding to the speculation is the news that DK Rao, who police sources allege handles Rajan’s operations in the city, has been untraceable for the past four days.
Meanwhile, joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy said summons had been issued to the tour guide who showed Dey around when he visited London around a month before he was killed.
Dey had been on a package tour of England, in a group of eight. By talking to the guide, police hope to find out if Dey had met any people in London.
"The tour guide who was all along with the group could help identify the persons he (Dey) had met there,” the joint commissioner of police said.
Roy added that the police were also studying details of Dey’s planned tour of the Philippines. In fact, just before Dey was gunned down, he had sent by courier some documents to the Philippines tourism office in New Delhi.