25 July, 2021

The Intrepid Reporter

Dey’s killing is among the growing attacks on those striving to expose bitter truths

Courtesy: Mid-Day
The Intrepid Reporter

The special investigations editor of Mid-Day, J. Dey, had the hunger of a news reporter and the instincts of a spy. He would stride quietly into the newsroom, wait his turn with the editor, mention his scoop of the day, hammer it into an office desktop and slip out. He always insisted that his byline not mention his full name. Colleagues and some friends did not know the ‘J’ was Jyotirmoy. The end of a working day for most reporters was not so for Dey. He would venture out to “chat up” sources until Mumbai’s streets were left only with those who worked by night—or by stealth. On June 11, however, 56-year-old Dey met a tragic end—gunned down in broad daylight in a busy Mumbai suburb. He leaves behind his wife Shubha. The couple had no children.

Dey knew the odds of writing on crime, the underworld and the faction-ridden Mumbai police department. He practised caution: abjured routine, changed route often, deliberately mismatched names and numbers in his phone contact list, diligently...

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