Toppling in the J Dey murder case, a senior television journalist claimed in a phone conversation, gangster Chhota Rajan claimed responsibility for Dey’s murder. The journalist claimed that on July 1, 2011, he had received a call from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as Nana (Chhota Rajan) and asked the journalist whether he would be recording the phone call. The journalist told him that he would take notes and that the news channel would decide on whether or not to air it.
Dey, a senior journalist with city tabloid Mid-Day, was shot dead on June 11, 2011. The CBI claims the murder took place at the behest of Rajan, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi.
A seized conversation, where gangster Chhota Rajan claims to have accepted responsibility for killing senior journalist J Dey, forms part of the evidence against him in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the CBI. The assumed conversation took place between Rajan and a relative of now-deceased accused Vinod Asrani on August 4, 2011, less than a month after bike-borne assailants near his Powai residence shot Dey on June 2011. The conversation had also been part of the earlier charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police against journalist Jigna Vora, another accused in the case. The CBI, in its present chargesheet, has claimed that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory has verified the authenticity of the intercepted communication. It states that the conversation proves Rajan’s involvement as his voice samples match the intercepts.
The dramatic J. Dey murder case earlier brought to the fore this nexus more clearly than all earlier occasions. Having covered the crime beat for around three decades, Dey had naturally developed affiliations in legitimate as well as illegitimate walks of life. Bootleggers, matka-den operators are regular paymasters of crime reporters residing in respective areas. Visionless and routine crime reporters thrive on their money and retire peacefully. Dey-like ambitious reporters aim high and possess heavy appetite. Their morals become flexible in the initial period of their career and later vanish. Switching of loyalties is not a great affair when it comes to money. It may not be as frequent in underworld as it is in journalism.
The police told the session’s court in Mumbai that journalist Jigna Vora, then an accused in J Dey murder case, had fuelled the dispute between gangster Chota Rajan and the slain journalist, which likely led to the killing. Crime Branch, which was investigating the Dey murder case, claimed that Vora was aware of the issues between Rajan and Dey, but Mumbai police could not produce any substantial evidences against Vora and finally she got bail. Since then the never ending saga on Dey’s murder is unfurled in episodes.
During J Dey murder investigations, media made police authorities life miserable and Home department was always on radar. To control media pressure, police traced all those reporters having spoken to Chota Rajan and any underworld criminal, based on their own published interviews and reports, caught them and called for investigations. They were harassed and warned, and that’s how the story was twisted in many angles. Reporters gave lots of excuses, but police made smart stand stating their duty and arrested few one by one and asked them to give explanation in court. That’s how reporters came in switch before making any sort of statement about police and home department. In that series, Jigna became victim of circumstances, and got in police clutches, police department was very well aware that Jigna is not 100% at fault. But she was made scapegoat to control the nuisance of media, surprisingly when Jigna got arrested, no media came forward to protest against her. Rather J Dey news took back seat. Now all of sudden J Dey got news space.
The police claimed that Vora had called Chhota Rajan 36 times before J Dey’s murder. The chargesheet shows that there were only three calls between Chhota Rajan and Vora, all made for an interview that Rajan gave to The Asian Age. Vora had sent emails to Rajan containing the photographs and residential address of Dey and the registration number of his motorcycle. The charge sheet does not mention any such emails. Police requested Google to provide her inbox details but under privacy act Google refused to obey. Crime Branch officers told the media that Vora abruptly booked tickets to Sikkim on June 2011 and took off without a sanctioned leave, knowing well that Dey was to be murdered. Vora had travelled to Sikkim along with six friends. All tickets were booked in the first week of April. She had also given an advance notice of leave to her editor. But police didn’t include these records in the chargesheet. The police claimed there was professional rivalry between Dey and Vora and that was her motive to get him killed. Dey wrote that Dawood had left Pakistan. Vora wrote that Dawood was hiding in Pakistan. Bizarrely, the police have used these two stories to argue that there was rivalry between the two journalists.
The smear campaign against Vora went to the extent of accusing her of being an extortionist. Nobody asked what resources or authority did a female reporter have to strike deals between two rival builders? Nobody asked the police for the evidence before publishing such claims. In the final chargesheet, the police have not mentioned a word on any such mediation activities. But the objective has already been achieved.
Now after so many years, the CFSL report received in May 2016 is part of the chargesheet, stating that the voice is ‘the probable voice of the person (Rajan)’ matching with the specimen. The CBI had taken permission from the special MCOCA court to take a voice sample of Rajan, who is lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi since his deportation from Bali, Indonesia, in November last year. The chargesheet, however, does not have emails or other evidence on exchange of emails between Rajan and Vora, allegedly through which details of Dey were shared by her. Rajan had told journalists after the murder that Vora provided him with details of Dey’s motorcycle number, his photograph, address, etc. through emails. The CBI’s claim is that Dey was killed by Rajan over the two books he was writing. In its chargesheet, the CBI has details of exchange between two publishers and Dey on his books. Now only God or Rajan or Dey can tell the truth, else this murder case will revolve with saga like daily soaps.
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