Mumbai/Delhi: Mid Day Crime Editor J Dey was killed in Powai area here on Saturday. J Dey was shot dead in broad daylight on Saturday by four unidentified bike-borne persons who pumped five bullets on him from behind in suburban Powai.

Jyoti Dey (56), who was working as Editor (Special Investigation), was shot dead by unidentified persons in Powai at 1530 hours, Joint Police Commissioner (Law & Order) Rajnish Seth said.

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 this 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 fiverounds, police said, adding further probe was on.

Police sources however said Dey, who recently ran a series of news reports on oil mafia, had received threats from anti-social elements.

Mid-Day Editor expresses shock

Mid-Day Editor Sachin Kalbaug said the killing of Dey was a tremendous loss to the newspaper. Kalbag sad Dey was called a 'guru' by budding crime reporters for his expertise in investigative reporting.

Sachin Kalbaug said the Mid-Day newsroom was in a state of shock.

"Dey was one of the senior most journalist, a well known crime reporter of Mumbai. His loss is a tremendous loss to newspaper," he said.

"We are in a state of complete shock. It is too early to say why this has happened and how it happened. No indications that he was working on a big story now which would have made anyone uncomfortable.”

"Yes, he has broken big stories all his life. He is in journalism for more than two decades now. Only police would tell you which underworld person, if at all, you know is responsible for his over two decades of investigation reporting....It is not for me to speculate, I can tell you that he was not doing any big story now," Kalbaug said.

Dey has worked with major newspapers including Indian Express and Hindustan Times.

Last month, tabloid employee and veteran journalist Tarakant Dwivedi alias Akela was arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP) under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Official Secret Act after he had allegedly entered the government armoury in CST railway station and filed a news report about poor handling of armoury June last year.

Subsequently, the tabloid's employees headed by Dey and various journalist associations met Home Minister RR Patil, lodging protest against the police action on Akela and termed the action as a grievous assault on the freedom of the press.

Govt takes Dey killing very seriously: Patil

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said the government has taken the killing of senior journalist J Dey "very seriously" and senior police officials have been asked to immediately nab the culprits.

"I have spoken to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, and and Joint Commissioner (Crime) who are visiting the scene of crime. I have given instructions that the culprits be arrested as soon as possible," Patil said, adding "Nobody will be spared."

The motive behind the murder would be known only after a preliminary inquiry, he said.

The Home Minister said he knew J Dey as a good and senior crime reporter.

Dey wasn't blackmailing anyone: Bhujbal    

Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that crime journalist J Dey, who was killed
in Mumbai, did not target any gang or oil mafia in particular and was not "blackmailing" anyone.

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 underworld. He was not targeting anyone in particular, whether any gang or any (oil) mafia."

"Dey was not blackmailing anyone. He was a very honest person. I never imagined this would happen to him," he said.

"We are very much shocked to hear this tragic news," Bhujbal said. He recalled having  attended the book release of 'Zero Dial', written by Dey about informers, three months
ago.

"I think police will come to know in some time why he was killed," Bhujbal said.

Scribe killing attack on press: Ambika

Condemning the killing of a senior journalist of 'Mid-Day', Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said no civilised society can tolerate this kind of attack on the
freedom of the press.

"This act has challenged the freedom of press and the perusal of objective reporting. This incident is a sign of insanity perpetuated by mindless individuals in which innocent
citizens are killed. No civilised society can tolerate this kind of attack on freedom of press," she said in a condolence message in Delhi.

She expressed confidence the "Home Minister of Maharashtra will live up to his assurance of tracking down the assailants in the shortest possible time".

Editors guild condoles journalist death

Condoling the death of J Dey in Mumbai, the Editors Guild of India demanded the Maharashtra government to take immediate steps to ensure that the killers are brought to
justice.

"The Editors Guild deplores the law enforcement agencies' inability to protect the life of a journalist engaged in carrying out his professional duties at great risk to himself," Guild president T N Ninan and Secretary Coomi Kapoor said in a statement in Delhi.

They said initial reports suggest that the crime mafia may have been behind the killing.

Remembering Dey as a "courageous reporter" who undertook to expose the underworld, they said, "as editor of the special investigation team of the Midday newspaper and earlier with Indian Express newspaper, he had relentlessly exposed Mumbai's criminal mafia despite numerous threats to his life."

"The Guild demands that the state authorities speedily bring Dey's killers to justice," Ninan and Kapoor said.

Mamata offers condolence to scribe’s family

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee has condemned the killing of a journalist in Mumbai and said the death would not silence their voices.

"I have heard that he penned a book against the mafia a month ago. Did he have to pay for his life for being brave in his writing? Killing journalists will not stop their voices," the chief minister said of the shooting dead of Editor, Special Investigation Mid-day, Jyoti Dey.

Banerjee conveyed her condolences to the members of the bereaved journalist's family.

(JPN/Agencies)