August 13, 2016 1:28:15 am
An intercepted conversation, where gangster Chhota Rajan claims to have accepted responsibility for killing senior journalist J Dey, forms part of the evidence against him in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the CBI on Friday.
The alleged conversation took place between Rajan and a relative of now-deceased accused Vinod Asrani on August 4, 2011, less than a month after Dey was shot by bike-borne assailants near his Powai residence on June 2011.
The conversation had also been part of the earlier chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police against journalist Jigna Vora, another accused in the case.
The CBI, in its present chargesheet, has claimed that the authenticity of the intercepted communication has been verified by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. It states that the conversation proves Rajan’s involvement as his voice samples match the intercepts.
An official from the Mumbai police, who is a witness in the case, has told the CBI that after having taken the requisite permissions from the state government, a phone number belonging to a Chhota Rajan gang member was intercepted in August, 2011. In a conversation on August 4, Rajan interacted with a relative of Asrani.
“I listened to the conversation and realised that Chhota Rajan was interacting with the said Manoj. He was inquiring about the health of one Vinod and commented that he got trapped without any reason,” the statement says.
The transcript further has Rajan describing Dey as a ‘traitor’, claiming that he had links with his arch rival Dawood Ibrahim. He also mentions journalist and co-accused Jigna Vora, claiming that she ‘instigated’ him against Dey by saying that he was in touch with his rivals and writing against him.
The CFSL report received in May 2016 is part of the chargesheet, stating that the voice is ‘the probable voice of the person (Rajan)’ matching with the specimen. The CBI had taken permission from the special MCOCA court to take a voice sample of Rajan, who is lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi since his deportation from Bali, Indonesia, in November last year.
The chargesheet, however, does not have emails or other evidence on exchange of emails between Rajan and Vora, allegedly through which details of Dey were shared by her. Rajan had told journalists after the murder that Vora provided him with details of Dey’s motorcycle number, his photograph, address, etc. through emails.
Apart from the transcript, the CBI has 41 witness statements, including Dey’s family members, journalists and friends, some of which were part of the earlier chargesheets as well. In one of the statements, Dey has told a friend that 8-10 days prior to his murder, he had been receiving frequent calls from Rajan. “J Dey told me that Chhota Rajan has been frequently calling him and during his conversation he found that Chhota Rajan is very polite, for which he was worried. I told him that dons are polite only when they want to deceive someone. I asked him to be careful of Chhota Rajan,” says a witness.
The CBI’s claim is that Dey was killed by Rajan over the two books he was writing. In its chargesheet, the CBI has details of exchange between two publishers and Dey on his books.
One of the books that Dey intended to write on Dawood was to be on the don’s ‘meteoric rise’ overcoming ‘death threats from enemies’ as well as details on assassination plots by rivals, including Rajan.
The second book, Chindi-Rags to Riches was to contain 20 stories of gangsters, including Rajan. The CBI has claimed that it was Dey’s reference to Rajan as chindi (petty), that had miffed the gangster.
The CBI claims that the murder conspiracy was hatched through Global Roaming SIM cards. Two days before Dey was shot dead, the CBI claims the shooter, Satish Kalya, sent two SMSes to a link number, after which Rajan called him ‘for communicating his final order’ to shoot Dey.
Special Judge S S Adkar has postponed hearing in the case till August 19 to decide on the point of framing of charges against Rajan.
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