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J Dey Murder Case: Mumbai Court to Decide Fate of Chhota Rajan, ex-Journalist Jigna Vora

Several high-profile accused in Mr Dey's murder, which took place seven years ago in Mumbai, include Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi, and former Mumbai journalist Jigna Vora.

IANS

Updated:May 2, 2018, 9:12 AM IST
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J Dey Murder Case: Mumbai Court to Decide Fate of Chhota Rajan, ex-Journalist Jigna Vora
Protesters demand justice for J Dey | File Photo | AFP
Mumbai: Nearly seven years after journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was gunned down in suburban Mumbai, a Special Court in the city will deliver its verdict in the case on Wednesday. Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Adkar had on April 3 fixed May 2 for the verdict.

Several high-profile accused in Mr Dey's murder include Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi, and former Mumbai journalist Jigna Vora.

The final arguments in the Special Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) Court had started in February and concluded early last month.

According to investigators, Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of Dey, a veteran crime reporter of Mumbai. He was deported from Indonesia's Bali in November 2015 and subsequently made an accused in the case.

Dey, 56, was the Editor (Investigations) of Midday Eveninger, and was shot dead on June 11, 2011, near his Powai residence in central suburban Mumbai. The killing sent shock waves in media circles across the country.

The investigations were initially conducted by police but were taken over by the Crime Branch due to its ramifications.

There was a sensational twist to the case when police arrested Jigna Vora, then Deputy Bureau Chief of The Asian Age, Mumbai, on November 25, 2011, besides 10 others. It emerged during the probe that Vora was allegedly in regular contact with Chhota Rajan and provoked him to eliminate Dey.

The 11th accused Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, who was allegedly the main co-conspirator and financier of the entire operation, died of natural causes in April 2015 at a private hospital. He had "pointed out" Mr Dey to the gunmen the morning that he was killed.

In June 2015, the Special MCOCA court framed charges against the remaining 10 accused, including Vora.

The accused in the case are Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, 28; Abhijeet Kasharam Shinde, 27; Arun Janardhan Dake, 27; Sachin Suresh Gaikwad, 35; Anil Bhanudas Waghmode, 35; Nilesh Narayan Shendge alias Bablu, 34; Mangesh Damodar Agawane, 25 (all who conducted recce and/or were shooters); Jigna Vora; weapon supplier Deepak Sisodia, 28, of Dehradun; Joseph Paulson, 43; Vinod Chembur (since deceased).

After Chhota Rajan's arrest, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the murder probe and made him an accused in a supplementary chargesheet.

A sum of Rs 500,000 was paid for the contract killing, including Rs 200,000 as advance.

According to Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat, three accused had recorded in their confessional statements in the case. A total of 155 witnesses were examined during the trial.

"Chhota Rajan's deposition was recorded via videoconferencing from Tihar jail. He is not likely to be brought here for the verdict," he added.

Dey had written two books: Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld and Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers. He was writing his third book, Chindi: Rags to Riches.

He had reportedly portrayed the don as 'Chindi' (petty) in his upcoming book, which apparently irked Chhota Rajan.

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