The supplementary chargesheet in the J Dey murder case, involving journalist Jigna Vora, was filed in a special court on Tuesday. Vora is the 11th accused in the case. She has been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence under IPC. There are charges under the MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act) and the Arms Act as well.
Dey, a senior editor with a tabloid Mid Day, was shot dead on June 11, 2011 in Powai.
The crime branch of Mumbai police, which investigated the case, claimed Dey was shot dead on the orders of gangster Chhota Rajan, who allegedly gave R5 lakh for the contract killing. Vora, deputy chief of bureau of Asian Age, was arrested on November 25 for instigating Rajan to plan the murder, and has been in jail since.
“She may not have been directly (physically) involved in the murder, but she was nonetheless a conspirator,” said joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy.
According to the chargesheet filed by the crime branch, the bad blood between Vora and Dey had begun as a quest to outdo one another professionally.
“The conspiracy started in 2010, in the backdrop of a simmering enmity between Dey and Vora over proximity to Rajan’s henchman Farid Tanasha,” said Roy.
Officials said a former colleague of Dey has corroborated the ‘enmity”, reflected in an exchange of a series of text messages between the two.
Tanasha was murdered in June 2010. But instead of settling, the enmity intensified, and became worse in May 2011 after Dey had published a few articles on Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan, Roy said.
The crime branch claimed that Vora had e-mailed those articles to Rajan to prove Dey’s portrayal of him in poor light, instigating Rajan to execute the murder.
Vora’s conduct before and after the murder cemented the suspicion further, said Roy.
“Vora made 36 calls to Rajan in the run up to Dey’s murder. After the murder, she did not make any inquiries, and later published an article pointing fingers at drug smuggler and close Dawood aide Iqbal Mirchi,” he said.