MUMBAI: Gangster Chhota Rajan, the prime accused in Jyotirmoy alias 'J' Dey's killing, had told an acquaintance that the journalist had grown close to his arch rival Dawood Ibrahim and "crossed his limit".
This was disclosed in a recorded conversation between Rajan and Manoj Shivdasani, a friend of another accused in the case, Vinod Chembur (now deceased).
Shivdasani today deposed before the special court in Mumbai, where prosecution played a tape of the conversation between him and Rajan.
"He has identified his voice and Rajan's voice in it," special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said. In one such recorded conversation, Rajan had purportedly referred to Dey as a rascal and said "Dawood se mila hua hai" (Dey has grown close to Dawood).
Rajan purportedly said that Dey had "crossed the limit". He had also mentioned the name of arrested journalist Jigna Vora. Dey was shot dead in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011.
Rajan talked with Shivdasani over phone after Dey's death.
The court on August 31 last year had framed charges against Rajan.
According to a supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI, Rajan had the veteran crime reporter killed because he was miffed with some articles written by him, and also because a book being written by Dey portrayed him as a 'chindi' (petty) criminal.
The book, "Chindi--Rags to Riches", was to be about 20 gangsters who rose from humble origins.
Rajan was arrested at Bali airport in Indonesia on October 25, 2015, and deported to India.
The first charge sheet filed in the case in 2011 named Satish Kaliya, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia (all arrested) as accused.
A charge sheet was filed against Jigna Vora for allegedly instigating Rajan against Dey owing to her professional rivalry with the scribe.
The 55-year old gangster, once a close aide of fugitive terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, was brought to India to face trial in over 70 cases of killing, extortion and drug smuggling in Delhi and Mumbai.
He was recently convicted in a fake passport case by a special court in Delhi.