Nearly seven years after journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was gunned down in suburban Mumbai, a special court is likely to pronounce its verdict in the sensational case on Wednesday.
A special MCOCA court in Mumbai had on 3 April reserved May 2 for the judgment in the case in which gangster mafia don Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan is one of the accused.
Chhota Rajan is currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi. Former Mumbai journalist Jigna Vora is also an accused in the case.
According to investigators, Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of Dey, a veteran crime reporter of Mumbai.
The mafia don was deported from Indonesia’s Bali in November 2015 and subsequently made an accused in the case. Dey, 56, was the editor (Investigations) of Midday eveninger, and was shot dead on 11 June, 2011, near his Powai residence in central suburban Mumbai, sending shockwaves in the media circles across the country.
During the trial, the prosecution examined 155 witnesses while eight of them turned hostile. The CBI court framed charges against Chhota Rajan in the case in 2016.
According to a supplementary charge sheet by the CBI, Rajan had Dey killed because he was miffed with some articles written by him, and also because a planned book of his portrayed Rajan as a chindi (petty) criminal.
There was a major twist in the case when police arrested Vora, then Deputy Bureau Chief of The Asian Age, Mumbai, on 25 November, 2011, besides 10 others. It emerged during the probe that Vora was allegedly in regular contact with Chhota Rajan and provoked him to eliminate Dey.
One of the accused, Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, who was allegedly the main co-conspirator and financier of the entire operation, died of natural causes in April 2015 at a private hospital. He had “pointed out” Dey to the gunmen that morning.
The accused are Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, 28; Abhijeet Kasharam Shinde, 27; Arun Janardhan Dake, 27; Sachin Suresh Gaikwad, 35; Anil Bhanudas Waghmode, 35; Nilesh Narayan Shendge alias Bablu, 34; Mangesh Damodar Agawane, 25 (all who conducted recce and/or were shooters); Jigna Vora; weapon supplier Deepak Sisodia, 28, of Dehradun; Joseph Paulson, 43; Vinod Chembur (since deceased).
(With inputs from agencies)