An alleged bookie and aide of underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is suspected to have played a key role in the killing of senior crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey, was arrested on Sunday. With this, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to eight.
“Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, a bookie who is suspected of having helped the shooters identify Dey, was picked up for questioning and subsequently arrested,” a Crime Branch official said.
“We have information that he [Asrani] held a meeting with shooters days before the murder and handed over money to them,” the official alleged.
Remanded in police custody till July 7
Asrani was produced before a local court, which remanded him in police custody till July 7.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy and Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharti were unavailable for comment.
Last Sunday night, police arrested gunman Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya (34) and his associates, Abhijeet Shinde (28), Arun Dake (27), Sachin Gaikwad (27), Anil Waghmode (35), Nilesh Shendge (34) and Mangesh Agawane (25) in connection with the murder.
Dey (56), who worked with the city-based English tabloid MiD-Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 1.
The police claimed the journalist was eliminated at the behest of Rajan, who paid the accused Rs. 5 lakh.
However, the motive behind the killing is still not clear.