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Suspects arrested in Mumbai journalist's murder

(IPI/IFEX) - 27 June 2011 - Mumbai police announced today that seven men were arrested in connection with the brutal shooting of veteran Mumbai journalist Jyotirmoy Dey. The special investigations editor at Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day was gunned down in broad daylight on 11 June.

In today's press conference, Mumbai's Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy said that the seven men, including the alleged primary shooter Satish Kalia, were assassins hired by a notorious mafia boss named Chhota Rajan. Mid-Day reported that the police had also seized the murder weapon, a Czech revolver, and 25 cartridges, used by Kalia along with ten mobile phones from the suspects. The reason Dey had been targeted by Rajan is still unknown, and according to Roy the suspects did not know the reporter's identity prior to the shooting.

"It was a very coordinated and copy book operation. A job very professionally done," Roy said in the press conference.

The swift arrests followed protests and increased pressure from local journalists, who called for a thorough investigation into the murder as well as greater government protection for members of the press. Dey, 56, was one of the city's top journalists and had reported on crime and Mumbai's underworld for over two decades.

"The audacity of the murder in broad daylight demonstrates the power of forces involved in criminal activities that were the focus of Dey's writing and the stakes involved," IPI's India National Committee wrote in a statement released immediately after Dey's murder.

IPI research shows that Dey is the third journalist killed in India in 2011. Reporters Sushil Pathak with the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar and Umesh Rajput with the daily Nai Duniya were both shot and killed earlier this year.

IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills said: "We welcome the arrests made in the case of the murder of Jyotirmoy Dey. It is however vital that not just those who carried out the killing be brought to justice, but also those who gave the order."
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