Crime branch officials claimed on Monday that Jigna Vora, the journalist arrested in connection with the J Dey murder case, said she had met one of the arrested co-accused days before the murder. "We are now trying to find out why she met him," said a crime branch officer on condition of anonymity.
Police sources claimed that during questioning, Vora also admitted she had not provided accurate information about her phone conversations with Chhota Rajan. The police said Vora, however, maintained that Dey was 'a very senior journalist' and hence there was no question of professional rivalry.
Joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy, claimed on Monday that Vora had got access to Rajan through gangster Farid Tanasha. He was gunned down in June 2010. Roy claimed Vora, who started her career as a court reporter, got to know Tanasha in 2009 following his release from jail. "Farid helped Vora get in touch with Rajan," Roy claimed.
Crime branch officials claim it was on Rajan's instructions that Vora supplied Dey's motorcycle registration number and travel details. This information was allegedly used by Rajan's men to kill Dey on June 11.
Roy also claimed that though Vora initially denied ever having spoken to Rajan, her phone call records showed otherwise. On being told that several crime reporters speak to underworld figures for journalistic purposes, Roy said, "Normally, it is the underworld figure who calls up journalists, but in Vora's case, it was the other way around." He claimed some of the interceptions were not purely professional in nature.
Police also claimed that Vora's behaviour after Dey's murder was suspicious. She was holidaying in Sikkim at the time. "Though she was informed of the incident by her journalist friends, she did not make any calls for more details or a confirmation, which is quite unlikely for a mainstream crime reporter," Roy said.
The police have custody of Vora till December 1 after which she will be produced before the MCOCA court for further custody. Vora, deputy bureau chief of The Asian Age, who has been kept at the Azad Maidan police station lock-up, is brought to the commissioner's office at Crawford market at 10am for questioning and taken back at 6.30pm.