A Special MCOCA Court opened the statements given by two key witnesses on journalist Jigna Vora,one of the accused in the murder of veteran crime reporter J Dey last year.
The witnesses — a staffer from the Administration Department of English daily ‘Asian Age’ (where Vora was working at the time of her arrest) and a friend of another accused Paulson Joseph — had recorded the statements before a Magistrate,and hence they cannot be changed now.
Vora was arrested on November 25 last year and charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
She has been accused of providing key information like supplying licence plate number of Dey’s motorcycle and his residential address to underworld don Chhota Rajan,who has been shown as a wanted accused in the murder case.
The ‘Asian Age’ staffer,in the statement,has said that between June 09,2011 and June 18,2011,Vora did not report to work and had not submitted any application before proceeding on leave. Dey,who was on a bike,was shot dead on June 11,2011 in suburban Powai.
The other witness said he had introduced Vora to Joseph. Once Rajan called up Joseph and said Vora had switched off her mobile phone. Rajan asked Joseph to tell her to switch on the phone,the witness said.
Meanwhile,the prosecution will on May 2 file a reply on the bail plea of Vora in the MCOCA Court.
Police,on December 3 last year,had filed chargesheet against arrested accused Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya,Abhijeet Shinde,Arun Dake,Sachin Gaikwad,Anil Waghmode,Nilesh Shendge,Mangesh Agawane,Vinod Asrani,Joseph and Deepak Sisodia.
According to the 3,055-page chargesheet,Rajan was upset with two articles written by Dey,then working with city tabloid ‘Mid-Day’,which portrayed him in bad light. By murdering Dey,he wanted to send a message that those who write against him would be targeted.
Vora had instigated the overseas-based underworld don to kill Dey due to professional rivalry,it said.
A supplementary chargesheet was filed at a later date against Vora,the 11th arrested accused in the case.