Journalist murder case: Mumbai ACP to be questioned

J DeyMumbai:  An Assistant Commissioner with the Mumbai Police, Anil Mahabole, will be questioned in connection with the killing of senior Mid Day journalist J Dey, sources have told NDTV.

Mr Dey, in his news reports, had alleged that Mr Mahabole had links with the D-Company, the gang operated by Dawood Ibrahim. On Monday, Mr Mahabole was transferred from his position as ACP, Mumbai – Zone 1, to the local arms division. This was Mr Mahabole’s second transfer in two years. He had earlier been unceremoniously shunted amid allegations of his having links with Dawood’s gang during the Haseena Parkar case a couple of years ago.

Police sources also said that 20 men from the “oil mafia” and some alleged members of the Dawood gang had been questioned in connection with Mr Dey’s murder. These are people Mr Dey had written about.

The police are still looking at personal enmity as the likely motive behind the murder and are investigating the courier that Mr Dey had sent just before he was shot dead. The sources said the investigative journalist had some documents photocopied at the courier shop, which the police believe were taken by the killers.

On Monday, the police also released a sketch that is purportedly that of one of the four men who opened fire at Dey outside a mall on a crowded Mumbai street on Saturday.  Based on accounts from eyewitnesses, the sketch reveals a man about five-and-a-half-feet tall and wearing a blue raincoat. The police said he seemed to be in his early 20s.

There is huge pressure on the Mumbai Police to solve this murder post haste. City-based journalists marched to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s office on Monday, demanding a CBI inquiry into Mr Dey’s murder. The CM did not agree, saying, ”Since yesterday, there has been progress in the case.”

But the journalists have warned that if the CBI is not brought in, they will begin a relay hunger strike on June 15 and will challenge the government in the Bombay High Court. The journalists hold that an investigation by the local police may not be reliable because Mr Dey often exposed the nexus between cops and the underworld.

Mr Dey, known for his investigative reports and books on the underworld, was riding his motorcycle in Mumbai’s Powai suburb when the four men on two motorcycles pulled up. They shot five bullets at him. He was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival.

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