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Dey murder: Call from Yemen could be hoax, say cops

June 19, 2011 19:34 IST

Police on Sunday said that the anonymous phone call from Yemen claiming that Indian Mujahideen was behind the murder of crime reporter J Dey, could to be hoax.

"The probe indicates it was a hoax call. But we want to double check before coming to a conclusion that it was a hoax call. We are in touch with the authorities from Yemen," a senior police officer said.

On Saturday, an anonymous caller phoned at the police control room from Yemen claiming that the IM had hired shooters from Hyderabad, Bihar and Srinagar and paid Rs 4 lakh to kill Dey.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Mahabole was grilled by police on Saturday in connection with the murder.

"Mahabole was questioned for several hours on Saturday. His statement was recorded and he was allowed to go. During the interrogation, Mahabole claimed that he had cordial relations with Dey and he had no role in the murder," a top crime branch official said.

Crime Branch sources said that he was questioned for over five hours, during which, the ACP appeared tense and kept on repeating that he had nothing to do with the killing. Mahabole had, in 2005, filed a criminal defamation case against Dey after the latter's news report, in which, the ACP's reputation was allegedly put in a bad light, police said.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mahabole said, "I told the Crime Branch what I had to. I don't want to disclose as to what questions I was asked." However, police said that they may summon the ACP again, if required.

Dey, 56, Editor (Special Investigation) with Mid-Day, who extensively covered underworld and crime for over two decades, was shot dead by four motorbike-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.

The city police now have to file a status report on the murder probe. The Bombay High Court had directed the Maharashtra government and police on Thursday to file a status report on June 21 on the murder probe.

ACP Mahabole, who came under the scanner following the murder, was abruptly shunted to Local Arms Control Room in suburban Naigaon from the in-charge post of Azad Maidan division in south Mumbai on June 13, two days after the incident.

A day later, the ACP had claimed that he was being falsely implicated into the case and the allegations against him were false.

"The allegations against me in the case (Dey's killing) are absurd and wrong. I have nothing to do with the case. I hope, the investigating officials would be able to detect the case early and catch the culprits soon, to clear the air," he had said after the transfer.

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