Court seeks status report
on Mumbai journalist’s
murder probe

MUMBAI — The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government and Mumbai police to file a status report on June 21 on the probe into the murder of investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.


Nithin Belle

Published: Fri 17 Jun 2011, 10:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:34 PM

This follows a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by some activists, urging the court to direct the government to hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). While the government informed the court that investigations into the murder of the journalist were progressing and there was no need to transfer the case to the CBI, the court asked for a status report on June 21. Dey, the investigative editor of Mid-Day, was killed last Saturday afternoon as he was riding home on his bike near Powai in north-central Mumbai. Four hired killers, on two motor-cycles, cornered him and pumped bullets into him.

Dey, 56, a veteran crime reporter, had been exposing the oil adulteration mafia and had also written extensively on the police-underground link. Several journalist organisations in Mumbai have been demanding that the probe be handed over to the CBI as the Mumbai police could not be expected to do a fair job.

The Press Club, Mumbai, and the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh moved an intervention application along with the two criminal PILs pleading transfer of the case to the CBI. The two journalist bodies have been organising chain hunger strikes in Mumbai and other cities in the state.

Incidentally, the police on Thursday released three suspects detained in connection with Dey’s murder, as they did not find any evidence of their role in the crime. On Wednesday, the police detained some members of the Chhota Shakeel gang, suspecting they had carried out the killing.

Various organisations have also been demanding that the state government introduce a law to protect journalists. But many Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ministers are opposed to such a move and are also demanding the setting up of a state-level body — on the lines of the Press Council — where they can lodge complaints against journalists.

A coordination committee of journalist organisations is considering calling for a boycott of all press and electronic coverage of meetings and briefings by the chief minister and home minister R R Patil. Press clubs and other journalist organisations have held protest rallies and condolence meetings in Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Agartala. Editors of national newspapers and TV networks are meeting in Mumbai on Saturday to take up the matter with the state government. Later, they also plan to take up the matter with prime minister Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidamabaram.

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