The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Tuesday accused journalist Jigna Vora of harbouring enmity against fellow investigative reporter J Dey and being part of an underworld conspiracy to eliminate him as it filed a supplementary chargesheet against Vora in the Dey murder case.
Dey was shot dead last June by motorcycle-borne killers allegedly hired by fugitive underworld don Chhota Rajan. The police claim that Rajan was upset with Deys reports that portrayed him in poor light and also suspected that the veteran crime reporter was passing on information about him to his rivals.
While nine men alleged to be the shooters and their accomplices were arrested in the weeks after the killing,Vora,who was deputy bureau chief with The Asian Age in Mumbai,was arrested on November 25.
The 1,471-page charge- sheet filed in the Special MCOCA court relies heavily on the testimonial evidence of 27 witnesses. There are also three witness statements recorded by a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.
The chargesheet does not,however,include physical evidence such as e-mails to prove allegations that Vora passed on Deys motorcycle number and his office and home addresses to Rajan,or that she instigated Rajan by sending him articles written by Dey,as claimed by investigators.
The Crime Branch said it is awaiting some forensic evidence and has transcripts of calls between Rajan and other accused which allegedly spell out Voras role,but does not have a transcript of a direct conversation between Vora and Rajan.
On December 3 last year,a chargesheet was filed against nine men in custody and two fugitives in the case,including Rajan. We have strong testimonial,circumstantial and physical evidence to prove her role, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy.
Vora was part of the criminal conspiracy hatched. We are attempting to show that there was enmity or ill-will between Vora and Dey,that started with some incidents revolving around issues of closeness with Rajan aide Farid Tanasha and of getting information from him, said Roy.
The Crime Branch has furnished evidence that on May 19,2011,Dey wrote an article that Dawood Ibrahim had left Pakistan,and that on May 25,Vora called up Rajan to discuss it. An article by Vora that refuted Deys report saying Dawood was still in Pakistan was published on May 26.
There are records of calls made between Vora and Rajan in April,May and early June last year… there is also evidence that Vora pointed out two articles written by Dey to Rajan, said Roy.