Mumbai: City police are likely to apply stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the seven accused, arrested for allegedly murdering senior crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey in Powai.

According to police, MCOCA can be applied, if at least two members of the organised crime gang have at least two chargesheets registered against them.

In the chargesheet, besides the arrested seven accused, underworld don Chhota Rajan's name would also be included, a Crime Branch officer said.

Rajan has several criminal cases against him in the city, whereas the seven accused also have criminal background.

"It is a fit case where MCOCA can be applied against the accused. I think only paper work is left to apply the stringent act against them," said the official.

On Sunday night, police arrested Rohee Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya (34), Abhijeet Shinde (28), Arun Dake (27), Sachin Gaikwad (27), Anil Waghmode (35), Nilesh Shendge (34) and Mangesh Agawane (25) in connection with Dey's murder.

Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy (Crime) said, "We are examining all possible legal options to see if the MCOCA can be applied against the accused."

J Dey (56), working with the city-based English tabloid Mid Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.

The journalist was eliminated at the behest of Rajan, who paid Rs 5 lakh to the accused, police said adding that the motive behind the killing was not yet clear.

Mumbai media takes credit

The Mumbai media on Tuesday said the arrest of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey's murder was 'a small victory for (the) media and public opinion'.

The Mumbai Press Club said the two weeks of marches, hunger strikes and candle light vigils kept the spotlight on the case.

A delegation of dozen editors also called on Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

“Police claim to have cracked the case, but the crucial question, the motive for the killing, remains unanswered. Who really hired these killers and why?” a Press Club statement asked.

Mumbai Police on Monday announced it had cracked the case and nabbed seven people, allegedly hired by Don Chhota Rajan, to kill Dey.

Urging the media to keep the pressure on the government and police till all questions were answered, the statement pointed out that earlier police claimed it was the handiwork of Don Chhota Shakeel and now they say it was plotted by Chhota Rajan.

It also urged the media to look at the bigger picture - of the media being attacked all over the country.

A small group of journalists has decided to take up the documentation of the 180 or so cases of attacks on mediapersons in Maharashtra in the past two years.

The Mumbai Press Club has also launched a fund to support Dey's family.

Dey, who worked for Mid Day and specialized on the underworld, was gunned down at Powai in north Mumbai June 11.

JPN/Agencies