A real estate developer, one of the accused held in the 2011 senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey murder case and who was suspected to be a close aide of underworld don Chhota Rajan, died at a private hospital Friday following liver failure, police said.
Builder Vinod Asrani (55), who had been out on bail on medical grounds since 2012, was undergoing treatment for liver ailment at a private hospital in Parel. He died in the wee hours today, said a crime branch officer.
Asrani’s family was planning a liver transplant for him in Singapore.
“Asrani was a key conspirator in the case. However, his death would not cause much effect on the matter,” said the officer.
Jyotirmoy Dey (56), working with the city-based English tabloid Mid-Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011. Dey was shot from close range at the behest of Rajan and a total of five bullets entered his body.
A month after the killing, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had arrested Asrani alias Vinod Chembur.
Asrani was alleged to have helped the shooters identify Dey by arranging a meeting with the latter in a restaurant in Chembur area. He was also suspected to have provided assailants the whereabouts of Dey.
Other accused arrested in the case were — Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Paulson Joseph, Deepak Sisodia and Jigna Vora.
Currently, Sisodia, Joseph and Vora are out on bail.
Two accused – Chhota Rajan and his aide N Bisht – are still wanted in the case, police said.
The trial of the case is yet to begin.