The police may claim to have solved the sensational murder of senior journalist J. Dey, but there is no mistaking the blot the killing and the subsequent investigations have put on the men in khaki.
The Mumbai Police, once considered to be the best in the country, is now just a shadow of its former self.
In the days soon after the murder, the police claimed to have ‘solved’ the case with the arrest of three men, who confessed to the crime within hours. However, the ‘confessions’ did not tally with the incident.
So how and why did they confess? Simple. Tremendous police and media pressure made the policemen arrest some petty criminals, who were beaten up black and blue. Scared for their lives, the men ‘confessed’ to the crime they did not commit. The gloating policemen did a quick U-turn when they realised that the arrestees cannot be passed off as Dey’s killers.
Still reeling under tremendous pressure, the cops called up the same underworld gangsters who themselves were under the suspicion.
So while some officers called up Chhota Shakeel, the others held the line for Chhota Rajan.
“The dons were asked whether they did it, whether they knew who had done it and whether they would help the police crack the case,” a police officer admitted.
Other small-time gangsters were also called up with the same queries, he added. But both Shakeel and Rajan denied their hand in Dey’s murder and said they were rather assisting the police after being petitioned for help.
“While we did have contacts in the underworld to elicit information, the way the police handled the Dey murder leaves a lot to be desiredâ€¦ Calling up gangsters and asking them whether they are involved in the case is not the way,” a retired police officer said.
Maharashtra’s former DG Arvind Inamdar said it was shocking to know the police had called up Rajan and Shakeel. “In our line of business, we need informers contacting them is different from contacting gangsters. It means lack the resources and expertise gather information, besides being totally unethical,” Inamdar said.
Mail Today sent an SMS Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik, who was not available for comment, asking him whether it was okay for police to call up the gangsters information? Patnaik replied: “Please furnish these details that we can initiate action.