Three days after her arrest, senior journalist Jigna Vora has started spilling the beans.
Vora, deputy bureau chief with The Asian Age, was arrested by Mumbai police Crime Branch on Friday allegedly for her involvement in the murder of Jyotirmoy Dey, editor (investigations) of Mid Day.
Vora has been booked under stringent sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
According to a senior police officer from the crime branch, Vora was initially quiet and did not disclose anything to the police but now she has admitted that she spoke to underworld don Chhota Rajan and abused Dey over the phone.
On June 11, four motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead Dey at Powai.
“During interrogation, Jigna admitted that she spoke to Rajan and abused Dey on some story-related issue. She is cooperating with us but she has still not disclosed a lot of things,” said a senior crime branch officer.
Before her arrest when Vora was called by the police to give her statement, she had denied that she had ever spoken to Rajan. “In her first statement, she told us that she never spoke to Rajan. But when we showed her the interview with Rajan which was published in The Asian Age, she confessed that she spoke to him once. Then we showed her the call records which clearly showed that she had spoken to Rajan on quite a few occasions,” said the officer.
Vora then admitted that she spoke to Rajan and had abused Dey for some story but she didn’t do it with the intention of harming him.
The police have sent the hard disk of her laptop and her mobile phones to the forensic laboratory to find out if she had deleted messages or emails.
The Crime Branch officials while going through the call records of Vora after Dey’s murder said they were surprised that she hardly made any calls to enquire about the incident as she was holidaying in Sikkim.
“Vora was in Sikkim when Dey was shot dead and she came to know about the incident through her journalist friends but she didn’t make calls to enquire about the most shocking murder in her own fraternity. This act of hers also made us suspicious,” said a senior crime branch officer.
Vora was arrested under IPC sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) besides sections 3, 25 and 27 of the Indian Arms Act. Vora has also been charged with 3(1), 3(2) and 3(4) of MCOCA. As per MCOCA.
However, serious charges have been slapped against Vora — sections 120-B, (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder).
These sections call for a maximum punishment of death penalty and minimum punishment of life imprisonment if found guilty.