Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Monday rejected a demand to hand over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the probe into the killing of senior journalist Jyotindra Dey here.
Speaking to a delegation of journalists here, Chavan said the government needed more time for the investigations before taking a decision to hand over the matter to the CBI.
"I have held two meetings with police officials. I can assure you that we have made headway into the investigations," Chavan said, but declined to elaborate.
His assurances came after over 500 journalists went on a two-km-long march from Azad Maidan to Mantralaya - the state government headquarters - in the afternoon to protest the killing of Dey, editor (special investigations) of Mumbai tabloid Mid Day last Saturday.
The protesters also demanded that existing laws be strengthened to make attacks on journalists non-bailable offences.
On this, Chavan said that a cabinet note would be prepared and discussed by the state cabinet at its next meeting in a couple of days. Thereafter, the state government would bring a suitable bill in the legislature.
Journalists of various print and electronic media organisations and associations assembled at the the Press Club and marched to Mantralaya.
Several media organisations, including the Press Club, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, Mantralaya Ani Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, Mumbai Crime Reporters` Association and TV Journalists Association took part in the procession.
The Press Club, Mumbai, also demanded the resignation of Home Minister R.R. Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, and called for the need to stop attacks on mediapersons.
Dey was shot dead by four unidentified assailants riding motorcycles while he was riding his motorcycle near his residence in Powai Saturday afternoon.
His funeral was held Sunday where hundreds of people from different walks of life bid a tearful adieu to the slain journalist.