Mumbai: Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Mahabole has said that he is no way connected to the murder of investigative reporter J Dey. The journalist was shot on Saturday evening while he was riding his two-wheeler down a crowded Mumbai street. The police says that Mr Dey was most likely killed as a result of "professional enmity."
Mr Mahabole told NDTV that any attempts to link him to Mr Dey's death "are false allegations based with malafide intentions to harm my reputation. Dey was a senior person and I had high regard for him", he said in an exclusive interview to NDTV's Rashmi Rajput.
Police sources say that Mr Mahabole has been transferred after Mr Dey's death from his posting in Mumbai's Zone 1 to the local arms division. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, however, who would have to sanction the move says he is not aware of the transfer. Nor is Mr Mahabole who said he had not received transfer orders. When asked about reports that he will soon be interrogated in connection with Mr Dey's death, he said, "As an investigating officer, if they feel that they require to question me, they should go ahead.''
Mr Dey, the government believes, may have been killed because of recent stories that focused on the oil mafia. He had also reported on alleged links between a section of the Mumbai police force and the D-company, the notorious gang operated by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Mr Mahabole says he last met Mr Dey two years ago. The reporter had worked on stories that suggested Mr Mahabole was close to the D-company.
30 people with links to the oil mafia have been interrogated so far. The police also plans to question Mohammed Ali, currently in jail, who was allegedly a senior leader in the oil mafia.
Some have alleged that given Mr Dey's commitment to unearthing police links to the underworld, the local police force may not do justice to his case. However, the Chief Minister once again said today that there is no need to transfer Mr Dey's case to the CBI. "If you undermine the moral of the Mumbai Police, then who will the common people go to? I'm very confident that the Mumbai police will get to the bottom of this," Mr Chavan said today.