Three years after the assassination of mid-day senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, the court will frame charges against the 11 accused arrested in the case on June 19. Three out of these are out on bail in the case. Dey, who was the Investigations Editor of this paper, was gunned down by four bike-borne assailants in the afternoon near his residence in Powai on June 11, 2011.

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mid-day Investigations Editor J Dey was gunned down by four bike-borne assailants near his residence in Powai on the afternoon of June 11, 2011. The murder was allegedly plotted and executed at the behest of underworld don Chhota Rajan. File pic
mid-day Investigations Editor J Dey was gunned down by four bike-borne assailants near his residence in Powai on the afternoon of June 11, 2011. The murder was allegedly plotted and executed at the behest of underworld don Chhota Rajan. File pic

The murder was plotted and executed allegedly at the behest of underworld don Chhota Rajan. In all, 11 persons have been arrested in the case, including former journalist Jigna Vora. The accused have been booked under various sections of the IPC and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

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Soon after her arrest, Vora was the first to be released on bail in July 2012. According to the police, Vora had allegedly provided Dey’s mobile number and his exact location to Rajan, the gangster who has been named in the chargesheet.

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Out on bail
In March 2012, Vora moved court for bail on the grounds that the evidence against her was only circumstantial. Her lawyer also told the court that she suffered from acute asthma and other ailments.

Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, charged with conspiring with others to kill Dey, was the second accused to be released on temporary bail on December 12, 2012, after he approached the high court, seeking immediate relief on medical grounds and stating that he needed an urgent liver transplant. Asrani is accused of calling Dey to a suburban hotel and pointing him out to the hired shooters.

Another accused, Joseph Paulson, was released on bail in October 2013. He has been accused of providing global SIM cards to wanted gangster Chhota Rajan’s sharpshooter Satish Kalya and Asrani to communicate with their leader prior to the murder.

Despite the three main accused having been let out on bail, the Crime Branch believes that it has a watertight case, strong enough to get convictions for the accused. “We have gathered as much evidence in the matter as possible, and are hoping that the arrested accused will get convicted,” said Inspector Vilas Datirey, who is part of the investigating team, and is currently attached to the Social Service Branch.