Mumbai scribe shot dead

Mumbai scribe shot dead

Bike-borne assailants pump bullets into ace investigative journalist

Mumbai scribe shot dead

Police inspect at spot where senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was shot dead by unidentified persons near his residence in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI

The assailants pumped at least four bullets into him from behind in suburban Powai.
A shocked Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Dey had not communicated to the authorities about any threat to him.

Jyotirmoy Dey (56), Editor (Special Investigation) with English tabloid “Mid-Day,” was riding his motorcycle when he was gunned down in a daring attack that shocked the media fraternity.

The police said Dey sustained five bullet wounds and was rushed to Hiranandani Hospital in the Powai area where he was declared dead.

Joint Police Commissioner (Law & Order) Rajnish Seth confirmed that Jyoti Dey was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Powai at 3:30 pm.

According to Additional Co­m­missioner of Police Vishwas Nagre Patil, four persons on two bikes fired at least four to five rounds at Dey, who was also riding a bike, from behind in the afternoon near Spectra Building at D Mart in the Hiranandani area of Powai. Police said the culprits escaped after the shooting.

“Nine wounds were found on his body,” Patil said. “Probably four to five bullets must have been fired taking into ac­co­unt entry and exit wo­unds. We are probing the matter from all angles.”  The body was taken to civic-run Rajawadi hospital for post mortem.
Chavan expressed anger over the killing of Dey saying “such acts will not be tolerated.” He appealed to journalists “to seek the help of government whenever they face threats from anyone.”

Home Minister R R Patil also said Dey had not made any complaint regarding any threat to his life. He said the government has taken the killing of Dey “very seriously.” Senior police officials have been asked to immediately nab the culprits. “I have spoken to the Mumbai police commissioner and joint commissioner (crime). I have given instructions that the culprits be arrested as soon as possible,” Patil said.

Police sources said Dey, who recently ran a series of stories on oil mafia, had received th­reats from anti-social elements. Dey, who  stayed in north-east Mumbai suburb Ghatkopar, is survived by wife Shobha. He had written two books—“Khallas” and “Zero-dial” (which is about A to Z of underworld).

Dey had previously worked with “Hindustan Times” and “Indian Express.” “We are verifying his mobile phone records and will record the statement of the members of his family,” a police officer said.

The assailants appeared to be young, Vishwas Patil said. The police were ascertaining if their movements had been captured by the CCTV cameras placed at nearby buildings.

Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the journalist did not “target” any gang or mafia in particular.  He said: “I knew him for long and was a friend for 15 years. He wrote for many newspapers. I don’t know why he was shot dead. Maybe some reporting of his had hurt some mafia.”  Asked if the killing could be linked to elements from the underworld or the oil mafia, Bhujbal, a former home minister, said: “Dey was a very honest person. He used to write on the underworld. He was not targeting anyone in particular, whether any gang or any (oil) mafia”. 

Bhujbal also recalled having attended a book release of “Zero Dial”, written by Dey about police informers, three months ago, in the presence of actor Ajay Devgn. “Mid-Day” Executive Editor Sachin Kalbag said Dey had not spoken to him about any danger to his life. “Dey never told me that he had received any death threat. Everything was normal when I last met him, which was yesterday (Friday). This is an attack not on a journalist, but on the media fraternity,"  Kalbag said.

He also said the killing of Dey was a tremendous loss to the newspaper as he was considered a "guru" by budding reporters for his expertise in investigative reporting.  Kalbag said it was too early to ascertain the motive behind the killing.

“Let us not sensationalise the fact that he was working on a story on underworld. Other newspapers, too, were working on this,” Kalbag said. Dey was believed to be working on articles on Dawood Ibrahim.

I&B Minister Ambika Soni said: "I condemn the attack. No civilised society will accept intolerance of the freedom of the press." Meanwhile, the newsroom of “Mid-Day” where Dey worked was in a state of shock. "Dey was one of the senior most journalists. His loss is a tremendous loss to the newspaper," his colleagues said.

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