The brutal murder of veteran crime reporter J Dey on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon in June sent shockwaves not only in Mumbai’s journalist circles, but also within the police establishment and the underworld.
On June 11, Dey was riding his motorcycle to his house when motorcycle-borne assailants fired bullets from a high-velocity weapon from close range. Dey died while being rushed to the hospital.
Under pressure to hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Mumbai police rounded up hundreds of underworld hirelings from across the country.
The breakthrough came on June 27, when the crime branch arrested the seven assailants who allegedly executed Dey on instructions from Chhota Rajan. They were identified as Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, 34; Abhijeet Shinde, 28; Arun Dake, 27; Sachin Gaikwad, 27; Anil Waghmode, 35; Nilesh Shendge, 34 and Mangesh Agawane, 25.
As per the version put out by the police, six of them accosted Dey on three motorcycles. The seventh followed the assailants in a Qualis jeep as a back-up. Police claim it was Kaliya who pulled the trigger on Dey. Mumbai police said the murder was ordered by Chhota Rajan.
Following investigations, the plot was unraveled, and more arrests were made. Those arrested include Vinod Ashrani alias Vinod Chembur, a cricket bookie and a close aide of Rajan, Dipak Sisodia, who allegedly provided the murder weapon, and Paulson Joseph, a small time political activist from Tilak Nagar who did the reconnaissance before the murder.
On Friday, senior crime reporter Jigna Vora became the 11th person to be arrested in the case.