Mumbai: Four days before his murder, crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey was shown to the killers by the arrested alleged bookie, during a meeting at a bar and restaurant in suburban Mulund, also attended by three more persons, including a senior journalist with a news channel, police said on Monday.

The senior journalist with the Hindi news channel, who was not aware of the plot by the underworld don Chhota Rajan, would be made "prime witness" in the Dey murder case, police added.

Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, an alleged bookie who was suspected to have had a key role in Dey's murder, was arrested yesterday. Asrani was remanded to police custody till July 7.

Asrani had called the Hindi channel journalist and Dey to a bar and restaurant in Mulund. On June 7, the news channel journalist drove his car to a location in Powai, where Dey was waiting. From there, the two had gone to the bar, where they met Ansari after 10 pm in the bar," JPC (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.

"Two more persons were also present in the meeting, apart from Dey, the news channel journalist and Asrani," Roy said, refusing to divulge their identities. The statements of these two unidentified persons would be recorded soon, he added.
As the news channel journalist and Dey had reached the bar, Asrani had hinted at the target (Dey) to Arun Dake (27) and Sachin Gaikwad (27)--two of the eight arrested accused.

Court extends custody of accused

The custody of the seven accused, arrested in connection with the murder of senior journalist J Dey, was extended till July 8 by a local court on Monday.

The police told the court that they wanted to further question the accused in the backdrop of the arrest of the bookie-turned-builder and Chhota Rajan aide, Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur.

With Asrani's arrest, the number of those held so far in connection with the case has reached eight.

Asrani, who was produced before a local court yesterday, remanded in police custody till July 7, police had said.
The police had last week arrested apprehended Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya (34) and his associates Abhijeet Shinde (28), Arun Dake (27), Sachin Gaikwad (27), Anil Waghmode (35), Nilesh Shendge (34) and Mangesh Agawane(25) from the state and Tamil Nadu.

Dey (56), working with Mid Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.
Police claimed that Dey was eliminated at the behest of fugitive gangster Chhota Rajan, who allegedly paid Rs five lakh to the accused to get the 'job' done.

However, they said the motive behind the killing was not yet clear.

(Agencies)