Joint Commissioner of the Mumbai Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said here on Monday that Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya was the brain behind planning and executing the killing of senior crime reporter J Dey. Kalya is one of the seven arrested for the murder.

“Approximately 20 days before the incident [J Dey was shot dead on June 11], he [Kalya] received a call from gangster Chhota Rajan and he was told that there was a job to be done and that weapons and money would be arranged. At this stage, he was not told who the target was,” Mr. Roy said.

He said Kalya picked up Rs. 2 lakh from an unknown person in Chembur. “After that, he was told to proceed to Nainital, Kathgodam, where he went and collected this weapon and rounds,” he said.

After returning, Kalya contacted his old associate in crime, Anil Waghmode, who is also a known shooter. “Anil was told by Kalya to collect a team for the operation. Anil contacted Mangesh Damodar Agawane and Nilesh Narayan Shedge alias Bablu. Nilesh contacted Abhijeet Kasharam Shinde and Arun Janardan Dake. Arun contacted Sachin Gaikwad,” Mr. Roy said.

He said that Kalya, Anil and Bablu were the core team and they were looking for others who could ride bikes. Accordingly, three teams were formed: Arun rode a bike and Satish Kalya, who was accused of killing J Dey, rode pillion; Abhijeet rode the second bike with Bablu on the pillion; and Mangesh rode the third bike carrying Anil on the pillion.

They all planned to keep a Qualis handy and as a getaway vehicle in case of emergency. Sachin Suresh Gaikwad was asked to drive it.

“On June 6, Satish Kalya got a call from Chhota Rajan again about the description of the target and the motorcycle number. He told him that the target could be found at two places: Peninsula Centre in Lower Parel [office of MiD Day] and Hiranandani area, Powai. Accordingly, Anil Waghmode did a recce of Peninsula Centre on June 7 and identified the target,” Mr. Roy said.

He said that on June 8, Satish Kalya accompanied Anil and identified J Dey.

Police said the accused were not provided any photograph of J Dey. “They were given the description and the vehicle number. Kalya called up Chhota Rajan and gave him the description of J Dey. After that, they went ahead with their plans,” Mr. Roy said.

Mr. Roy said the accused decided against carrying out the killing in Lower Parel area as it was very crowded and therefore dangerous. “On 9th and 10th [June], all the seven roamed around Hiranandani on three motorcycles and a Qualis looking for the target. But they did not find him,” he said.

He said one of the teams located J Dey on June 11 around 1.30 p.m. near the R Mall circle. “They informed the other teams and started following J Dey. He first stopped at a place near the Hiranandani hospital to take photocopies of certain documents. They did not shoot him there because they felt it was too crowded and risky. He then went to the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) main gate to a courier company. Even that was a crowded place and the accused feared that there would be many eyewitnesses,” he said.

Finally, when J Dey took a turn near the Crisil House, they thought it was a less populated place and shot him.

After that, all of them went to Mangesh's place at Jogeshwari. They watched the news on TV at his place and decided to leave Mumbai the next day.

Of the seven, Mangesh has no crime record. Sachin has only one case of causing hurt registered against him in 2007. Both of them stayed back in Mumbai, while the rest decided to leave the city.

“The next day morning, they all went to Nalasopara and collected Rs. 3 lakhs from a person. From there, they went to Pawagarh (Gujarat), Shirdi, Akkalkot (both in Maharashtra), Yadagiri (Karnataka), Solapur (Maharashtra). This is where Bablu got down.

The other the four went to Bijapur (Karnataka), where Arun got down to get back to Mumbai. The remaining trio then went to Sangli (Maharashtra), Bangalore, Madurai and Rameswaram. When they were picked up from Rameswaram, they were planning to go to Tirupati.

Mr. Roy said probably they all went to pilgrimage centres because Satish Kalya was a very religious person.