Mumbai: A senior journalist with an English tabloid Mid-Day, who extensively covered underworld and crime for over two decades, was shot dead in broad daylight today by four unidentified bike-borne persons who pumped five bullets on him from behind in suburban Powai.
Jyoti Dey (56), who was working as Editor (Special Investigation), Mid-Day, was shot dead by unidentified persons in Powai at 3.30 pm, Joint Police Commissioner (Law & Order) Rajnish Seth said.
According to Additional Police Commissioner Vishwas Nagre Patil, four persons on two bikes fired a number of rounds at Dey, who was also riding a bike, from behind this afternoon in Hiranandani area of Powai.
Following this, he was rushed to nearby Hiranandani hospital where he was declared dead, Patil said.
The shooters escaped from the spot after firing five rounds, police said, adding further probe was on.
Expressing shock over the killing, Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the journalist did not 'target' any gang or mafia in particular.
Asked if the killing could be linked to elements from the underworld or the oil mafia, Bhujbal, a former home minister, said, "Dey was a very honest person. He used to write on underworld. He was not targeting anyone in particular, whether any gang or any (oil) mafia".
Mid-Day Editor Sachin Kalbag said the killing of Dey was a tremendous loss to the newspaper. Kalbag said Dey was called a "guru" by budding crime reporters for his expertise in investigative reporting. Kalbag said it was too early to ascertain the motive behind the killing.
Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil today said the government has taken the killing of senior journalist J Dey "very seriously" and senior police officials have been asked to immediately nab the culprits.
"I have spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, and and Joint Commissioner (Crime) who are visiting the scene of crime. I have given instructions that the culprits be arrested as soon as possible," Patil said. Dey had not made any complaint regarding any threat to his life, he added.
The motive behind the murder would be known only after a preliminary inquiry, he said. The home minister said he knew J Dey as a good and senior crime reporter.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari described the murder as "most shocking". He said the incident showed that the state home department had lost control of the law and order situation.
Police sources however said Dey, who recently ran a series of news reports on oil mafia, had received threats from anti-social elements.
Sachin Kalbaug said the Mid-Day newsroom was in a state of shock. "Dey was one of the senior journalists, a well-known crime reporter of Mumbai. His loss is a tremendous loss to the newspaper," he said.
"We are in a state of complete shock. It is too early to say why this has happened and how it happened. No indications that he was working on a big story now which would have made anyone uncomfortable."
Dey has worked with major newspapers including The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.
Last month, tabloid employee and veteran journalist Tarakant Dwivedi alias Akela was arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP) under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Official Secret Act after he had allegedly entered the government armoury in CST railway station and filed a news report about poor handling of armoury June last year.
Subsequently, the tabloid's employees headed by Dey and various journalist associations met the home minister and lodged protest against the police action on Akela and termed the action as a grievous assault on the freedom of the press.
Published Date: Jun 11, 2011 07:17 pm | Updated Date: Jun 11, 2011 08:12 pm