India sentences one of its most wanted gangsters to jail for journalist’s murder

India sentences one of its most wanted gangsters to jail for journalist’s murder

  • It took the country seven years to reach the verdict.
  • Eight other accused were also given the life sentence for the crime.
  • Accused also fined ₹22.3 million.

On Wednesday, a special court in India, called the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), found the nine accused in the murder of journalist J-Dey, including Rajan, Rohit Tangappa, Arun Dake, Anil Waghmode, Magesh Aagavane, Sachin Gaikwad, Abhijeet Shinde and Nilesh Shedge, guilty of conspiracy, murder, and committing murder.

Chhota Rajan is a Mumbai-born gangster with ties to Dawood Ibrahim and Arun Gawli. He, with Dawood and Gawli, ruled the Indian underworld in the 1980s. The other eight accused provided assistance to carry out the hit that was ordered by Rajan. For instance, Tangappa was the sharpshooter accompanied by Arun, Anil and Mangesh carried out the hit, while Sachil kept a watch on Dey. Abhijeet, Nilesh and Deepak were all involved in the procurement of the murder weapon and its disposal.

The verdict finally came for Jyotirmoy Dey’s case, who is also known as J-Dey, on May 3rd. The veteran journalist, crime and investigations editor for Indian daily Mid Day was an expert on the Mumbai underworld. He was shot at by a motorcycle-borne sharpshooter in 2011. Chhota Rajan ordered the hit because he was upset with the journalist’s reports about him.

The court fined the convicted a total of ₹22.3 million. Of this, ₹500,000 was to be paid to Dey’s sister Lina Dey. Cartridge supplier Deepak Sisodia was fined ₹15,00,000, while the other accused were ordered to pay ₹26,00,000 each.

Another accused, Jigna Vora, who had spent almost ten months in jail, broke down when she was acquitted, says a report. Paulson Joseph, who supplied a SIM card and money required for the hit, was also acquitted. The defendant's lawyers submitted mitigating circumstances like the age, family conditions and financial circumstances of the accused in order to seek leniency in the ruling.

The prosecution, according to a report, argued that the court must send out ‘a strong message’ while sentencing the accused.