Chavan again says no to CBI probe into journalist’s murder


Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan reiterated Tuesday that the probe into the cold-blooded killing of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, who specialised on the underworld, would not be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Also on Tuesday, the Mumbai police chief denied any links between the transfer of a senior officer and Dey’s killing.

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Speaking to mediapersons in the evening at Mantralaya, the state government headquarters, Chavan hinted that the Mumbai police have made headway in the Dey murder probe.

“Let us not undermine the morale of the police force. We have to give them sufficient time before we can consider other options,” Chavan maintained.

The Mumbai media has already protested Chavan’s decision not to hand over the probe to the CBI and has threatened to launch an agitation from Thursday if the police do not make progress in the investigations.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Mahabole “is not at all involved in this attack”, Mumbai Police Commissioner Aroop Patnaik said as journalists angry over the Saturday murder stepped up pressure to net the killers.

Mahabole also told Times Now that he had no idea why he has been transferred out of the Azad Maidan division of south Mumbai while police sources tried to establish a link of Mahabole’s transfer with Dey’s murder.

Mahabole insisted that he had no problems with Dey, an ace investigative reporter who was killed by four motorcycle-borne assailants near his residence Saturday afternoon.

Mahabole has several pending inquiries against him. T.K. Dwivedi, a colleague of Dey, accused Mahabole of threatening him. The officer denied the charge.

“A few weeks ago, when I was arrested in connection with an Official Secrets Acts case, Mahabole threatened me inside the Government Railway Police lock-up. I lodged a complaint,” Dwivedi, who goes by the alias ‘Akela’, told IANS Tuesday.

Mahabole, in turn, said it was Dwivedi who had problems with him and that he (Mahabole) had sought permission from his seniors to file a defamation case against the journalist.

When Dey was working with the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, in 2005, he had filed a news report which irked Mahabole and he retaliated by filing a defamation case, which is still pending.

Mahabole said he had spoken to Dey some days back.

Accordingly to Mahabole, Dey had reportedly said that the report linking him (Mahabole) to the mafia was based on “wrong information” given to him and even requested him to withdraw the court case.

“It is now over five years (of the case). Even I was planning to withdraw the case after following proper procedures,” Mahabole claimed.

Later in the evening, Police Commissioner Patnaik said that “this (the Dey case) was the most challenging” of his career and assured that the police was making all efforts to solve it.

Patnaik and other top police officials attended a condolence meeting organized by Crime Journalists’ Association at the Police Press Room in the police headquarters.

Patnaik also said that Dey was slain in the course of discharging his professional duties.

Mumbai Police Monday released a sketch of one of the four suspected killers of Dey.

The sketch, prepared following inputs of witnesses, described the suspect as a young man of 20-25 years, dark complexioned, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and of medium build.