J Dey murder: Lifer for Chhota Rajan, 8 others

J Dey murder: Lifer for Chhota Rajan, 8 others

Nearly seven years after senior journalist J Dey was shot dead, a special court today awarded life imprisonment to all the nine convicted, including gangster Chhota Rajan. The court imposed a fine of Rs 26 lakh on each of the convicts.

Dey, 56, the Editor-Investigations of 'Mid-Day' was shot dead on June 11, 2011, at the Powai suburbs in Mumbai.

This is the first major conviction for Rajan since he was deported to India following his arrest at Bali airport in Indonesia in 2015.

However, journalist Jigna Vora, the then Deputy Bureau Chief of the Mumbai edition of 'The Asian Age', was acquitted by the court. 

Besides Rajan, who is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail in Delhi, others who were convicted were: Satish Kalia, Anil Waghmode, Abhijit Shinde, Nilesh Shedge, Arun  Dhake , Mangesh Agawane, Sachin Gaikwad, Deepak Sisodia.

One of the accused, Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, a bookie and builder who financed the murder, had died during the course of the trial.

The investigations were initially conducted by the Powai police station and then transferred to the Crime Branch CID. However, when Rajan was deported from Indonesia, the Maharashtra government had handed over all cases related to him to the CBI. 

Infographic: J Dey murder case

 “I feel relieved. This is the first time that an underworld don has been convicted in a regular (murder) case," the then Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik said.  "I am sure the CBI will appeal against it in the higher court," he said on the acquittals. 

On the issue of acquittal of Jigna Vora, Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said: "Once we get the copy of the order, we would be able to comment on it....as far as the investigations were concerned, it showed that she was in touch with Chhota Rajan, she was in touch with messages with his associates...also, she had not been able to explain the sudden leave that she took after the incident." 

Dey had authored two books – ‘Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld’ and ‘Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers’ – and was in the process of writing the third book – ‘Chindi: Rags to Riches’. In the third book that Dey was writing, he had portrayed Rajan as " chindi ” (inconsequential or petty) and not as “don” and this has apparently angered Rajan and he ordered the hit.