Mumbai, Nov 26: Underworld don Chhota Rajan had revealed the involvement of Asian Age deputy bureau chief Jigna Vora while speaking on phone to one of the killers and later revealed the same to two other journalists, which led to Mumbai Police crime branch zeroing in on the lady journalist, reports Mumbai Mirror.
The report said, the breakthrough came when crime branch got a taped recording of a conversation between Rajan and the brother of one of the arrested men, Vinod Chembur, in which the don was heard saying he had been misled about Dey by Vora.
The report said, Chhota Rajan reportedly claimed that killing Dey on the suspicion that he was moving towards a rival gang had been a mistake.
Subsequently, Rajan also called up a television journalist and a reporter with an agency, and told them the same thing, adding that Vora had provided him crucial details about Dey's movements, the report said.
Crime Branch later recorded the statements of all three men. Officers claim they also have electronic surveillance records to back up the three statements.
Jigna Vora, who had been holidaying out of Mumbai when Dey was killed, first came under suspicion following the arrest of nine of Rajan's men on June 25. Her name allegedly cropped us as the person who provided information.
Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said on Friday, “After the murder we began looking for those who provided information on Dey's movements to Rajan. There were reasons to believe this journalist's involvement. We have more than enough evidence to justify custodial interrogation.”
According to a senior officer the friction between the two journalists started a few years ago over proximity to Chhota Rajan man Farid Tanasha who himself was murdered in June 2010.
Crime Branch believes that Vora used her proximity with Chhota Rajan to settle score with Dey by undermining the his standing with the don though perhaps not expecting such drastic consequences, says the Mumbai Mirror report.
According to Crime Branch sources, Jigna and J. Dey both covered the same beat, had similar ambitions and often shared sources too.
But Dey being the senior, more experienced reporter, enjoyed greater access to these shady figures which was resented by Vora, allege Crime Branch cops building their case.
Jigna Vora's ageing grandparents, her editors at the Asian Age and her lawyer have contested police claims.
Her attorney Girish Kulkarni told Mumbai Mirror: If Jigna had passed on information to Rajan through telephonic conversations or messages or through the internet, it would have been better if instead of jumping to arrest her, they would have scanned her computer, confiscated the required gadgets and checked for evidence.
As for talking to Rajan, that can't be an issue. It is only when what she spoke to him culminates into an offence that it becomes serious.
Again, the police have not found any such evidence and nor have they found anything to establish Jigna's enmity with Dey.”
Vora has been remanded to police custody until December 1 while Crime Branch has to produce the charge sheet in the Dey murder case by December 3.