MUMBAI: Sixteen days after senior crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was shot dead in broad daylight, Mumbai police Monday claimed to have cracked the case saying underworld don Chhota Rajan was behind the killing and seven persons hired by him have been arrested.
“The murder was planned by Rohit Thangappan alias Satish Kalya at the behest of Chhota Rajan. Kalya is a known shooter of Rajan gang and has worked for him earlier too,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mr Himanshu Roy told reporters.
“While three persons were arrested from Mumbai, three were arrested from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and one from Solapur,” he said.
Maharashtra Home Minister, Mr R R Patil said all the seven hail from Maharashtra. He announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to the Crime Branch for exemplary work. Mr Roy said that Rajan had kept the identity of the target a secret but had given description of the victim and his bike number a week before the killing.
Kalya and his men realised they had killed a journalist when television channels played it up. He then spoke to the don who asked all of them to leave Mumbai, saying he will take care of everything.
According to police, Kalya had received a call from Rajan around 20 days before June 11, the day when Dey, 56, working with English tabloid Mid Day, was shot dead.
“Rajan told Kalya he needs him to do a job and that money and weapons would be provided. Kalya then collected Rs two lakh from Chembur and the murder weapon along with 25 rounds of cartridges from Nainital,” Mr Roy said. Police is trying to ascertain the motive behind the killing. The police have recovered the murder weapon. All the seven arrested in the case were produced before a local court which remanded them to police custody till July 4.