Court convicts gangster over journo’s murder

  • mumbai drive-by shooting
- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, MUMBAI

May 3, 2018-

An Indian court on Wednesday convicted notorious gangster Chhota Rajan and eight others of murdering a senior journalist in a drive-by shooting in Mumbai seven years ago.

Jyotirmoy Dey, a crime reporter who specialised on gangland activities for the Mid-day tabloid, was shot dead in broad daylight on June 11, 2011.

Prosecutors said Rajan had ordered the hit because he was unhappy about negative articles that Dey had written about him.

A special court in India’s financial capital of Mumbai found Rajan guilty of ordering the contract killing of the 56-year-old. It also convicted eight henchmen, including four shooters. They and Rajan are expected to be sentenced later Wednesday.

The court acquitted two others of involvement, including a female journalist who had been accused of conspiring with and abetting Dey’s killers.

Jigna Vora, who worked for the Asian Age newspaper, was accused of passing on details of Dey’s home address and motorcycle registration number to gangsters working for Rajan.

She maintained her innocence throughout the trial.

Police said Rajan’s gang followed Dey on three motorcycles and in a four-by-four vehicle.

They shot him five times from behind near his home in the northern Mumbai suburb of Powai.

Officers said the gang was paid 500,000 rupees ($11,000) for the killing. They fled to towns around the country in the aftermath, where most of them were arrested.

Mid-day said at the time of his death that Dey was “a victim of his fearless journalism”.

His murder provoked outrage among Indian journalists, hundreds of whom took to the streets of Mumbai to demand greater protection from the state government and a swift inquiry.

Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was once one of India’s most wanted men and is accused of dozens of gruesome crimes.

He was deported from Indonesia in October 2015 after two decades on the run and is being held in a New Delhi jail.

Rajan was allegedly the right-hand man of Mumbai crime boss Dawood Ibrahim before an acrimonious split following the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts that killed 257 people.

Published: 03-05-2018 08:37

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