Mumbai: The Mumbai Crime Branch on Tuesday chargesheeted scribe Jigna Vora, arrested on November 25 last year, for her role in the criminal conspiracy to murder MiD DAY Investigations Editor J Dey.
Incidentally, the supplementary chargesheet was filed on Vora's birthday. She has been charged under provisions of the stringent MCOCA, the IPC (murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence etc) and the Arms Act.
The Crime Branch's first chargesheet in the Dey murder case was filed on December 3 last year, and named 12 accused including don Chhota Rajan. It did not name Vora.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare has sought permission from the court to amend the chargesheet as and when the fresh evidence is found.
The prosecution claims that Vora was aware of the plot to kill Dey, who was shot dead by four bike-borne assailants in broad daylight near his residence in Powai on June 11, 2011.
In the three months preceding the murder, Vora had made some 36 calls to Rajan. The telephonic contact stopped abruptly after the murder.
Call records reveal that shortly after some of the calls between Vora and Rajan, Dey's shooter Satish Kalia received calls from the latter, leading the police to believe that the don was coordinating the hit. Notably, in the few days leading up to June 11, there was an increase in the number of calls between Vora and Rajan aide Paulson Joseph.
While the journalistic fraternity, stunned by the news of the ghastly shooting, constantly exchanged calls, none were made or received by Vora's mobile. She was out of town at the time of the murder, on a trip to Sikkim and Darjeeling, and was not using her own phone. When a scribe, now a witness, eventually reached her on another number to inform her of the killing, she allegedly told him, "I don't want to talk about it."
Police claim there was 'professional rivalry' between her and Dey. In fact, according to a statement given by a journalist to the police, Rajan once called him up and told him that Vora had instigated the murder.
Police also claim that Vora attempted to mislead the police by filing a story claiming that Iqbal Mirchi had a role in Dey's murder.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said, "At this stage, we do not see the need for approvers as there are no missing links."
The police do not possess the actual transcripts of any conversation between Vora and gangster Chhota Rajan. They are waiting for the reports from the Forensic Science Laboratories, Kalina, in order to prove that Vora had sent details of Dey's motorcycle (registration number etc) to Rajan.
The supplementary chargesheet is divided into three volumes. Volume I contains two parts, comprising the panchnamas and details of Vora's intercepted emails. Volume II contains all witness statements. Volume III, the largest and divided in four parts, contains detailed call records.
Eight mobile phones were recovered from Vora along with multiple SIM cards. Statements by a total of 27 witnesses were examined. Of these, three were confessions which were recorded before the magistrate.
The Crime Branch's first chargesheet in the Dey murder case details the roles of the accused Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya -- the shooter, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia. All of them are in custody under MCOCA charges. Chhota Rajan and his aide Nayan Singh Bisht were shown as absconding.
The supplementary chargesheet names Vora, arrested on November 25, 2011. She is currently lodged in the Byculla women's prison.