Mumbai police have arrested those allegedly responsible for Dey’s death, but are still in search for the motive behind the killing
Seven suspects were arrested Monday for the murder earlier this month of Jyotirmoy Dey, an investigative journalist who wrote about organized crime for the tabloid Mid Day, in Mumbai on June 11th. The admitted killers claim they were hired to kill Dey by Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje aka “Chhota Rajan,” a local gang leader, currently running operations from outside of the country. Police are still searching for the motive behind the murder.
According to the India Times, Joint Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik confirmed Rajan is responsible for the murder, however the reason remains unclear, he said, and the investigation is ongoing.
As the Mumbai Mirror reports, a CCTV camera caught four of the seven men tailing Dey on motorcycles only moments before the murder. Witnesses then saw them flee the scene after gunshots were heard. Police officers claim that the CCTV cameras caught a license plate number from one of the bikes allowing them to track down one of the shooters, Mangesh Agawane, through the bike’s owner.
The lead suspect has been identified as Rohit Thangappan Joseph aka Satish Kalia, who confessed to shooting Dey, and informed police Rajan hired them to carry out the murder.
All seven of the arrested men will be charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). This law makes any confessions of the suspects admissible in court, and holds all parties involved equally culpable for the crime.
Kalia reportedly also told police he knew why Rajan hired them.
“We are verifying his claims, as it is a very sensitive case and we do not want say anything on this without cross checking,” said Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy.
The Times of India reported that police may also be investigating whether Rajan was given false information about a meeting the reporter supposedly had with a rival crime boss in London possibly to pass information on about Rajan.
The Economist Times quoted an unnamed officer saying Rajan will be included in the charges, and that this will be only one of many cases currently open concerning his criminal activity.
Dey is the latest of three journalists that have been killed across India in the past six months. Two others, Sushil Pathak and Umesh Rajput were also murdered because of the topic of the stories they were writing.