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Jun 11, 2011 at 09:36pm IST

Mumbai journo shot dead by 4 unidentified men

Mumbai: A journalist working with Mid Day was shot dead on Saturday by four unidentified men. J Dey covered the underworld for Mid Day and was admitted to Mumbai's Hiranandani hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

Jyotirmoy Dey, a senior crime reporter and editor of Special Investigations Mumbai Mid-Day was shot five times on Saturday afternoon in front of Spectra Building in Powai. His killers were reportedly four gunmen on two motobikes who fled the scene after emptying their firearms into Dey.

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Dey was rushed to the Hiranandani hospital - but was declared dead on arrival. He had reportedly sustained 8-9 entry and exit wounds. A crime reporter of two decades, Dey had extensively reported on the underworld in Mumbai, and had published two books on it.

The death of the low-profile crime journalist left Mumbai shocked. What is not clear is whether Dey had received death threats. Or whether he was killed for any specific news report. More questions remain - was he killed by the Mumbai mafia? The Maharashtra Chief Minister has promised a swift and thorough inquiry.

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Preliminary information from the police reveals that four unidentified men riding two motorcycles shot at him.

Joint Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said he would be able to issue a statement to the media once he reached the scene of crime.

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BJP President Nitin Gadkari said, "The gruesome murder of senior journalist shri J Dey is a very shocking incident. Mumbai has lost a brave journalist. I condone his death and condemn the dastardly crime. This incident has shown the deterioration of law and order in Maharashtra."

Dey was covering the underworld and crime for a long time and he was a special investigations editor.

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Dey also wrote a book called 'Zero Dial' on the underworld. Dey covered the underworld in the turbulent 80s and 90s.

Mumbai's Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik said, "I was not aware of what he was working on at this time. he was a very good crime reporter. He was a very good resource person."

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He also wrote countless articles on organised crime. Sources say Dey got no specific threat to life in the last few days.

Joint Police Commissioner (Law & Order) Rajnish Seth said Dey was shot dead in Hiranandani area of Powai. According to police, four persons riding on two bikes fired at Dey on Saturday afternoon.

According to Additional Police Commissioner Vishwas Nagre Patil, four persons on two bikes fired a number of rounds at Dey, who was also riding a bike, from behind on Saturday afternoon in Hiranandani area of Powai.

Following this, he was rushed to nearby Hiranandani Hospital where he was declared dead, Patil said. The shooters escaped from the spot after firing five rounds, police said, adding further probe was on.

Expressing shock over the killing, Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the journalist did not 'target' any gang or mafia in particular.

Bhujbal said, "I knew him for long and was a friend for 15 years. He wrote for many newspapers. I don't know why he was shot dead. Maybe some reporting of his had hurt some mafia. We have a lost an important reporter in the State."

Asked if the killing could be linked to elements from the underworld or the oil mafia, Bhujbal, a former Home Minister, said, "Dey was a very honest person. He used to write on the underworld. He was not targeting anyone in particular, whether any gang or any (oil) mafia".

Dey stayed in Ghatkopar and is survived by wife Shobha.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, "I condemn the attack and no civilised society will accept intolerance of freedom of press. Hope police apprehends the guilty soon."

Mid Day editor Sachin Kalbag said, "Not aware of any threat being made to him. He never told me that he received any death threat. Everything was normal when I last met him, which was yesterday. This is an attack not on a journalist, but on the media fraternity."

With Additional Inputs from Agencies

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