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HomeEditorialJigna Vora, a journalist from Mumbai, got her voice back through TV...

Jigna Vora, a journalist from Mumbai, got her voice back through TV shows?

Jigna Vora began her reporting career in 2006 with the Free Press Journal (FPJ). She reported on underworld don Abu Salem and former encounter specialist Daya Nayak.

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Two decades ago, there was a female daredevil journalist who wanted to say no to the hierarchy of the press room. She was writing many crime stories independently to create her own stand and name in the media. But one fine morning, her fate challenged her and she had no clue which hell she was landing in. Jigna Vora began her reporting career in 2006 with the Free Press Journal (FPJ). She reported on underworld don Abu Salem and former encounter specialist Daya Nayak. After her stint with the FPJ, she worked with the Mumbai Mirror and Mid-Day until 2008.

Vora is from Mumbai and got married to a businessman in Gujarat at an early age. Soon after her marriage, she had to go through a lot of domestic violence. Her husband had to beat her, and her in-laws used to abuse her. From this marriage, she had a son. After her son’s birth, her life became more miserable. Jigna finally returned to her parents’ home in Mumbai and filed for divorce. It was during those numerous court visits that Vora became fascinated with court proceedings and the people she met there. With help from a childhood friend, she got a job at the Free Press Journal to support her son and her parents. Vora’s role as a reporter gave her a new sense of empowerment. The divorce came through three years ago.

By now, Jigna was an independent woman. She was flamboyant and loud. Her transformation from a submissive housewife to a confident reporter surprised her close friends. She eventually graduated to doing stories related to the underworld. After her short stint with Mid-Day, Vora went on to join the Indian Express and later the Asian Age. After Dey’s murder, she was seen at the Mid-Day office trying to get his job. She wanted to be made Head of Investigations, a post held by Dey. But the management refused. They said they had not heard of her stories. She was furious at the refusal. Vora’s crime reports were mediocre and not as sensational as those of Dey.

Who knew Jigna would be linked to Dey’s murder? Day was returning to his home on his motorcycle from Ghatkopar when four unidentified men on motorcycles opened fire on him at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. He was reported dead on arrival at the Hiranandani Hospital, with nine exit wounds on his body. Mumbai Police speculated the murder was a professional job and may be related to his reporting on the oil mafia. The oil mafia, which pilfers oil being transported and also dilutes it before sale, has been under pressure since the killing of Yashwant Sonawane in January 2011. Dey had also reported that Chhota Rajan was the mastermind behind a shooting involving Dawood Ibrahim’s brother, Iqbal Kaskar, in Mumbai. The murder was widely denounced by the press and the local government.

On June 27, 2011, after sixteen days of investigations, the Crime Branch declared they had cracked the case. Police officials caught seven people from different locations in India. Of which three were detained from Chembur, in Mumbai; one from Solapur; and the remaining two from Rameshwaram, in Tamil Nadu. All the suspects resided in different parts of Mumbai except Satish Kalia, who settled down in Trivandrum after the birth of his daughter and cases against him were cleared. After the shootout, they fled to evade arrest. All seven suspects—Rohit Thangappan Joseph, alias Satish Kalia, Arun Dake, Anil Waghmode, Babloo, Sachin Gaikwad, Mangesh Agawane, and Chhottu—are history-sheeters. The suspects were allegedly from Chhota Rajan’s gang.

On February 21, 2012, the Mumbai Crime Branch chargesheeted journalist Jigna Vora (Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Asian Age) under the stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and various other penal offenses for her alleged role in the sensational murder. Jigna Vora had been under the Mumbai police’s radar since July 4, 2011, after the police intercepted a conversation between Manoj, the brother of Vinod Asrani, who has also been arrested and the gangster Chhota Rajan. The police alleged that Vora had supplied the address and license plate number of Dey’s motorcycle to Chhota Rajan. Police claimed Vora’s professional rivalry was the reason for Dey’s murder.

On July 27, 2012, Jigna Vora was granted bail by a special court, reasoning that she has a child to look after, is a single parent and has no previous criminal record. The 2023 TV series Scoop deals with the story of Jigna Vora, focusing on the events leading to and after Dey’s murder, her subsequent arrest, and the courtroom proceedings. Jigna Vora was acquitted in 2018 by a trial court and her acquittal was upheld by the Bombay High Court. The court concluded that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had failed to provide any direct evidence linking Vora to the 2011 killing of Dey. She is currently a contestant on the Indian reality TV show Bigg Boss Season 17, which started in October 2023. After a series called “Scoop” on Netflix and Bigg Boss, the voiceless Jigna got her voice to tell people what all she had to go through. Jigna’s life is always a roller-coaster ride, and she hopes she will bounce back forever.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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