Naval sailor, who was burnt alive in Palghar forest, had taken loans, say cops
Days after a leading seaman of the Indian Navy, Surajkumar Mithilesh Dube, 27, died after being burnt by kidnappers, investigation has revealed that he had taken ₹8 lakh as personal loan and ₹5.75 lakh loan from his colleague, allegedly to invest in stocks and shared. He also had three mobile phones, one of which was exclusively used for stocks and shares transaction. His family members were unaware of the third phone.
Dube had also taken ₹9 lakh as loan from his in-laws to invest, said Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police (SP), Palghar on Sunday. “We still do not know the motive behind the murder. We have formed 10 teams to probe the matter,” he said.
The colleague, who gave Dube the money, was allegedly asking him to return the money, following which Dube said he would pay back the amount through a cheque or online transaction.
Dube, who was on leave, was allegedly went to Chennai on January 31 where he was kidnapped. He was then allegedly held captive for three days, following which he was brought to Gholwad in Palghar by three unidentified men. The three accused then poured petrol on him and set him on fire in Vaiji-Vejalpada jungle for refusing to give ₹10 lakh ransom. Locals found him in a burnt state, and admitted to a hospital. He died on Friday night while undergoing treatment at INS Aswini of the Indian Navy.
His father Mithilesh, however, has claimed that did not receive any calls for ransom.
In addition, bank account details of the victim revealed that he had only ₹392 in his two bank accounts. The money from the accounts were transferred to a share trading firm, said Shinde.
Sources said that Dube had received 13 calls from a certain number asking him when he will fly to Chennai. He had also withdrawn ₹5,000 from an ATM in Chennai, and we are examining the CCTV footage from the spot to get some clues, said Shinde.
Dube left Ranchi and reached Hyderabad by a night flight and then took another late night flight to reach Chennai airport from where he was kidnapped and eventually burnt alive in Gholwad jungles on Friday.
According to Shinde, the victim was burnt alive atop a hill in the jungle. After suffering 90% burns, Dube climbed down the hill and sat on the roadside when he was spotted by locals in a charred state.
Dube joined the Indian Navy in 2013 and was first posted at INS Chilika, Orissa and then transferred to Mumbai, and since 2019 was posted at INS Agrani, Coimbatore.
“We are investigating all possible angles including whether the victim had self-staged the kidnapping and sought ₹10 lakh ransom so as to clear the financial mess and creditors,” said Shinde.
“We have registered case under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 364 (kidnapping for ransom), 392 (robbery) of Indian Penal Code and Arms Act against unknown persons and are investigating further. The body has been sent for post mortem,” said a police officer, adding that they were also probing as to why the victim was brought to Gholwad.