A MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) court on Wednesday sentenced gangster Chhota Rajan and seven others to life imprisonment in journalist Jyotirmay Dey murder case. Three others were convicted by the court in the case earlier on Wednesday.
However, Paulson Joseph and journalist Jigna Vohra were acquitted in the matter earlier on Wednesday. The court found Chhota Rajan guilty of ordering Dey’s murder.
J Dey had extensively covered Mumbai underworld for over two decades before he was shot dead in broad daylight in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011 while he was on his way home.
The investigations were initially conducted by local police but later transferred to the Crime Branch due to its ramifications. During the trial, the prosecution examined 155 witnesses, of which eight had 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. Dey had written two books: "Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld" and "Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers". He was writing his third book, "Chindi: Rags to Riches".
Rajan was arrested at Bali airport in Indonesia on October 25, 2015, and was deported to India. Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan is currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in Delhi.
The first charge sheet filed in the case in 2011 named Satish Kaliya, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia (all arrested) as accused.
A separate charge sheet was filed against journalist Jigna Vora for allegedly instigating Rajan against Dey owing to her own professional rivalry. Police arrested Jigna Vora in November 2011 and it had reportedly emerged in the probe that Vora was allegedly in regular contact with Chhota Rajan and had provoked him to eliminate Dey.
(With agency inputs)