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From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 25, Dated 25 June 2011.
The killing of a journalist in broad daylight in Mumbai raises fears of the underworld’s resurgence. Rana Ayyubreports
TOWERING OVER 6 feet, Jyotirmoy Dey certainly deserved the nickname ‘Lambu’ by which he was known in the journalistic fraternity. His gritty stories of the mafia and the politicianunderworld nexus were etched with a firm and fearless hand. Shot down in broad daylight in an upmarket Mumbai suburb, he had to his credit some of the most sensational investigations into the mafia, corruption in local bodies and high-profile corporate scams. He had a network of enviable sources not just in the police but also in the murky world of organised crime, which led him, it is said, into a symbiotic relationship with intelligence agencies.
Dey’s two books, Dial Zero (on police informers) and Khallas (about underworld operations) raised his profile not just among journalists but also among filmmakers and actors, who would garner insights from him on the finer nuances of the underbelly of the city. It is these very reasons that make the timing of his killing significant. For the past three years, Mum Mumbai Police has been claiming that most of the gangs in the underworld have been wiped out and the remaining operators are absconding.
So when, on 17 May, shots were fired at Pakhmodia street, a busy bylane of Mumbai, killing a certain Arif Syed, it ruffled feathers. Syed, after all, was one of the most trusted men of Iqbal Kaskar, younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim. Did this signify that the era of gang wars had returned?
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