Mumbai: Nearly seven years after the murder of veteran journalist Jyotirmoy Dey sent shock waves through the country, a court in Mumbai has convicted gangster Chhota Rajan in the case. He has been given life imprisonment for the crime. Former journalist Jigna Vora, who was accused of instigating Chhota Rajan for the murder, has been acquitted for lack of evidence. Eight others have been convicted.
- Journalist J Dey was killed at market in suburban Mumbai in June 2011
- Police said Chhota Rajan had ordered the killing; 8 others were convicted
- Ex-journalist Jigna Vora, accused of instigating Chhota Rajan, acquitted
56-year-old Mr Dey, a crime reporter working with the Midday Eveninger, was shot down in broad daylight in June 2011.
The police said Chhota Rajan had ordered the killing, irked by his portrayal as a small-time crook in a book the journalist was planning to write. Known for his investigative pieces, Mr Dey was planning to do a compilation of the stories of 20 gangsters and call the volume "Chindi -- Rags to Riches".
Chhota Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra S Nikhalje, had hired a contract killer for Rs 5 lakh, the police said. The man, Satish Kalia, who was found guilty, was not given the target's identity, only his physical description and the number of his two-wheeler. The man had put together a seven-member team for the murder.
On June 11, as Mr Dey was on his way home, he was gunned down at a market in Powai, suburban Mumbai. CCTV cameras from the market had recorded how the men, riding two motorcycles, closely trailed him before shooting him down. A Qualis was following behind. Satish Kalia, who was riding pillion in one of the bikes, shot Mr Dey five times with a Czech-made revolver.
Mr Dey was rushed to the nearby Hiranandani Hospital, where he died.
The hitmen panicked after they learnt the identity of the man they killed after TV channels and other media began reporting the murder. They dispersed to towns across the state and neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. They were finally tracked down and arrested from Rameshwaram, Solapur and Mumbai.
A sensational twist to the case came three months later, when the police arrested Jigna Vora, who worked for The Asian Age in Mumbai. The police said Ms Vora, driven by professional rivalry, used to instigate Chhota Rajan for the murder. She had also given him Mr Dey's address and the number plate of his motorcycle.
Ms Vora denied all charges and said her calls to Rajan were professional and she wanted to get an interview with him. She was later granted bail
In November 2015, Chhota Rajan was deported from Indonesia's Bali and was made an accused in the case. He is currently in Delhi's Tihar Jail.