A senior television journalist deposed in the murder trial of mid-day investigation editor J Dey, and told the court that gangster Chhota Rajan told him over a phone call that he did not feel guilty for the crime.
The journalist, while being examined by Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat, told the court, "On July 1, 2011, I was working on the Neeraj Grover murder case and, at 9 pm, I received a call from a number starting with +5302. The caller identified himself as Nana. He was Chhota Rajan. He asked me whether I would be recording the conversation. I said I would note it down."
He added, "He told me J Dey had crossed the limit and he was publishing incorrect news and maligning him. He also told me that Dey was trying to double-cross him. Dey also told Rajan that he was going to the Philippines. When I asked Rajan why Dey was being targeted since he was a journalist who was doing his job, Rajan said, 'If a journalist crosses his boundary, then he should be ready to face the consequences.'"
J Dey was shot dead near Hiranandani Gardens in Powai on June 11, 2011
The journalist told the court that the conversation went on for about 30 minutes, and Rajan also told him that he did not have any guilt (for killing Dey). The journalist also said that Rajan told him that Dey was saying that he has become financially weak. "Rajan said 'Why would he say that, was he my accountant to say that?'" Rajan allegedly also told the journalist that he arranged the killing of Indian Mujahideen's Riyaz Bhatkal.
During the cross examination, one of the defence lawyers pointed out to the journalist that his channel had run the news attributing the conversation to a person claiming to be Rajan.
The lawyer asked whether this was because the news channel was not sure that it was indeed Rajan. The journalist said it was the channel's call, in order to avoid legal difficulties.
The journalist said he had not recorded the conversation but had taken notes. However, he added that he knew it was Rajan on the other side because they had spoken in the past as well.