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Monday, June 13, 2011
International

'Oil mafia' kills Journalist in India

Jyotirmoy Dey

Authorities in the Indian city of Mumbai have promised a full investigation after a prominent newspaper crime reporter was killed in a drive-by shooting near his home.

Jyotirmoy Dey, who wrote extensively about gangland activities in the country's financial and entertainment capital for the daily tabloid Mid-day, was gunned down in broad daylight in a northern suburb on Saturday afternoon.

Four gunmen on two motorbikes shot him four times at point-blank range and sped off, police said. Dey, 56, was taken to hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Mumbai Police chief Arup Patnaik said the shooting, which has shocked the city's media fraternity, was a professional hit by organised crime gangs.

The domestic Press Trust of India news agency quoted an unnamed senior police officer as saying that the so-called "oil mafia" may have been behind the killing.

"The journalist had extensively written a number of news reports on the oil mafia, which may have triggered them to eliminate him," he added.

The "oil mafia" are racketeers who steal subsidised kerosene from tankers to dilute higher-priced petrol with it and undercut the market with the resulting blend.

In January, a senior civil official in Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, was burnt to death after uncovering evidence of the practice.

Mid-day said that the reporter, who wrote under the byline "J Dey", had covered crime in Mumbai for the last 22 years and was the publication's investigations editor.

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