J Dey murder trial: the story till now

J Dey and his death

Jyotirmoy Dey was a veteran Indian investigative journalist who was shot dead in June 2011 allegedly at the behest of gangster Chhota Rajan. Four persons on two motorcycles fired four to five rounds from behind at Dey, who was also riding a bike, near Spectra Building at D Mart in Hiranandani area of Powai in Mumbai.

In May 2011, J Dey had written an article titled: ‘Did Rajan plan hit on Kaskar?’ A second article appeared that June, titled: ‘Rajan gangsters off to ‘pilgrimages’ – Cops say many Rajan gang members are missing from their hideouts in the city.’ Days later, Dey was shot dead.

The Chhota Rajan connection

Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan is a fugitive underworld don and one of India’s most wanted criminals. Rajan gained widespread sympathy and public attention after he broke away from the Dawood Ibrahim gang, condemning it for carrying out the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. Rajan has over 70 cases against him, including the murder of Dey. Police had said Rajan, who was upset with the two articles written by Dey that purportedly portrayed him “as an ageing gangster”, is suspected to have ordered his elimination. In 2012, police filed a charge sheet against journalist Jigna Vora in the case. According to the 3,055-page charge sheet, Vora allegedly instigated Rajan to execute Dey owing to professional rivalry.

In October 2015, Rajan was arrested in Bali and deported to India. His arrest was on the basis of an Interpol red-corner notice issued against him way back in 1995 for committing criminal acts such as murder, running an organised crime syndicate, conspiracy etc.

Other accused

Mumbai Police had filed charge sheet against Chhota Rajan and his aide Nayan Singh Bisht shown as absconding, Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in 2011.

The investigation

After Rajan’s deportation to India, the government of Maharashtra had declared that the investigations of all cases against Rajan will be handed over to the CBI. A fresh FIR for murder and criminal conspiracy was filed under the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Arms Act. In January 2016, Rajan was produced before special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court via video conferencing. In February, the gangster submitted his voice samples in connection with the case. Rajan is now lodged in Tihar jail. On May 2, prison authorities confirmed that Rajan received a message warning that he will be killed. The message was allegedly sent by Chhota Shakeel, the trusted lieutenant of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

(Compiled by Anusha Surendran)

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Printable version | May 2, 2021 4:59:48 PM |

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