M A I N   N E W S

Chhota Rajan got scribe Dey killed 
* 7 arrested for murder * Had failed to kill scribe on two earlier occasions z Executed supari killing for Rs 5 lakh 
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Mumbai, June 27
The Mumbai police today claimed to have solved the murder case of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey with the arrest of seven alleged shooters belonging to the Chhota Rajan gang. All seven men, who have been held under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), were produced in a court that remanded them in police custody till July 4.

According to Joint Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy, mobster Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of J Dey. Roy told reporters that Dey’s killers were arrested from different parts of the country. “The first arrests were made in the temple town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, where three from the killer gang were caught. Later, three persons were picked up from Mumbai and one person from Solapur,” he told reporters.

Providing details about the plot to kill Dey, the police officer said the orders to carry out the hit was given by Rajan, who also provided the killers with money and weapons. Roy said Rajan called up his shooter Rohit Thankappan, alias Satish Kalia, and asked him to carry out the job. “During interrogation, Kalia said he was asked to collect a US-made revolver and 25 rounds from Nainital and put together a team,” Roy said.

Kalia was also given Rs 2 lakh for the job. Details of the target like Dey’s description and motorcycle number were not given to the hitmen till a week before the murder.

Meanwhile, Kalia put together a seven-member team some of whom acted as spotters to keep a watch on Dey’s movement. Based on information given by Rajan, Kalia and his associate Anil Waghmode kept track of Dey at Parel where the office of the newspaper for which he worked was located and at Powai, his residence. After two unsuccessful attempts on June 9 and 10, the shooters spotted Dey at Powai on June 11 and gunned him down.

According to Roy, the gang also had a backup getaway plan. The hitmen’s associates rode a Toyota Qualis some distance away to be used to pick up the shooters, if required. However, the four shooters riding two motorbikes managed to escape, Roy said, adding that Chhota Rajan would be cited as an absconding accused in the case. The gang, Roy said, had carried out "a very professional job", having trailed Dey -- on the basis of the physical description given to them and the journalist's motorcycle registration number -- for days. Six of the killers rode on three motorcycles while the seventh member was in a back-up van.

Kalia, 34, used a revolver and 25 "extremely deadly cartridges" that had been provided to him for the kill. On June 11, it was Kalia who fired five bullets at Dey, one of which pierced his heart. The police said they had seized the killer weapon and 10 mobile telephones from the gang.

(With inputs from agencies) 








Killers had no idea who their victim was 

MUMBAI: The seven men who killed investigative reporter Jyotirmoy Dey had no idea who he was when they shot him dead. The shooters and their associates then gathered at a place in suburban Jogeshwari, where they came to know about the identity of their target from television news. They panicked after realising that the victim was an ace journalist. “Kalia called up Chhota Rajan who asked them to remain calm. They were then asked to collect another Rs 3 lakh and leave Mumbai,” Roy said. The gang members immediately split and dispersed to different parts of the country to escape the police dragnet. They travelled across the country and visited a number of religious places in Gujarat, Shirdi, Karnataka, Bijapur, Sangli, Solapur, Bangalore, Madurai and Rameshwaram, Roy said. 



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