The crime branch on Tuesday said they will soon summon a doctor, who was earlier employed with the civic hospital in Mumbai, to record his statement in connection with the murder of senior crime reporter J Dey.
Sources in the crime branch told the Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the doctor was present at the Mulund hotel on June 7 when Dey met Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, a notorious aide of underworld kingpin Chhota Rajan.
Vinod was arrested on Sunday, while other seven shooters who had been deputed by Rajan to eliminate Dey on June 11 were arrested last week.
All eight of them are presently in police custody.
The doctor, who had been suspended several times in the past and is presently posted outside Mumbai, is known for his proximity to bookie-turned-developer Vinod. He was often seen with Vinod at Mulund hotel and also knew Dey well.
"Apart from Dey and his reporter friend, the doctor and another man, identified as Vinod's manager, were present inside the hotel during the meeting," sources said, adding that the meeting had been arranged by Vinod to help two assassins identify Dey.
The manager's statement will also be recorded, sources added.
Sources claimed that Satish Kalya had originally been asked by Rajan to help the sharpshooters identify Dey.
However, Kalya deputed his henchmen Anil Waghmode and Arun Doke for the job, fearing that Dey would identify him.
Meanwhile, joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy said that in order to make the task of identification easier for shooters, Vinod had been specifically asked by Rajan to come in his white BMW.
"Vinod did accordingly. When Dey arrived at the hotel (along with another reporter), he identified Dey through signs," Roy added.
The investigators are, however, trying to figure out who passed on information to Rajan about some personal details of Dey such as his motorcycle registration number, location of his office at Peninsula compound and house at Powai - much before the journalist's identification on June 7.
"When Rajan spoke to Kalya to prepare for the hit almost 20 days prior to the incident, he passed on these details to the latter. It would mean that someone had passed on the information to Rajan much earlier. We are trying to figure out the person," Roy added.
He, however, refused to divulge details.
"We can not reveal the identity of our witnesses before the media," Roy said.