The crime branch, on Tuesday, made an application in the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court to question notorious oil mafia don Mohammad Ali in connection with the murder of senior investigative journalist J Dey. Ali is presently in judicial custody in connection with the murder of rival mafia don Chand Madar. From the start of the investigation, the police have had their suspicions on the oil mafia.
“As we are probing the possible role of the oil mafia in Dey’s murder, we may question Mohammed Ali who is currently lodged in Arthur Road jail,” said a senior crime branch official.
However, the official did not clarify whether Ali would be questioned in the jail itself or whether the crime branch would approach court seeking his custody.
Mohammed Ali Abu Shaikh, 48, and his four aides had been arrested in the city while two sharpshooters were nabbed from Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the murder of Sayyed Chand Madar, 56, owner of a private firm in south Mumbai in September last year.
Ali and Madar were rivals as both were involved in smuggling marine diesel from the high sea and illegal scrap material in the dock area.
A senior crime branch officer told HT that the police were now trying to recreate Dey’s movement on the day of the murder, between 1.31pm when he left his mother’s house in Ghatkopar and 2.45pm when he was shot in Powai.
“There are some unexplained gaps in his movement from Ghatkopar to Powai which is a distance of around 3.5 km. It could not have taken him more than 10-15 minutes at the courier counter to send his package and a maximum of 30 minutes to drive from Ghatkopar to Powai. The balance half-an-hour or so is a mystery,” the officer said explaining the reason behind the recreation.