Mumbai: The Mumbai Police may be onto their hot lead to the motive behind J Dey’s murder, as the main accused, Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalia (34), has reportedly told them what the reason was.
But the sleuths prefer not to buy any statements at face value. Once bitten after the fiasco of Iqbal Mateen’s confession to the murder, which was later proven to be a sham, the police seem to be twice shy.
According to cops, when Kalia saw on TV that it was a journalist they had gunned down, he called Chhota Rajan, who had allegedly commissioned the hit, to ask him why he had made them kill a journalist, as it may create a huge furore.
Rajan did tell him the reason behind the killing, the police said, but they do not want to reveal it for the time being. They are verifying the claims made by Kalia to ascertain whether or not he is trying to cook up a story.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said, “We cannot say anything at this moment.”
After Kalia shot Dey dead in Powai, the culprits met at the residence of one of the seven arrested accused in Jogeshwari. Till that time, they were not aware of the victim’s identity or stature. It was only after they watched the news on television that they realised Dey’s vocation and rang up Rajan.
Kalia, a sharpshooter and a habitual offender, keeps claiming to have some or the other medical problem to avoid answering the police.
Moreover, he is a man of faith, cops said. “Kalia is a religious person. He does not drink. It was his plan to take his associates to various pilgrimage locations (in Gujarat, Shirdi, Karnataka, Sangli, Solapur, Bangalore, Madurai and Rameshwaram) after the killing,” a police official said.
The US-made .32 revolver used to shoot Dey down was seized from one of the accused, Anil Waghmode (35), and the bikes they rode while committing the crime were recovered from Chembur, Dharavi and Amboli.
Meanwhile, the police are planning to invoke the stringent provisions of the MCOCA against the seven accused.
The Act can be applied if at least two members of the organised crime gang have at least two chargesheets registered against them. Roy said, “We are examining all the legal options to see if the MCOCA can be applied against the accused.”