Navy sailor bought loose diesel, may have staged kidnapping, says police
Days after the suspicious death of leading seaman Surajkumar Mithilesh Dubey, 27, of the Indian Navy, the Palghar police have found CCTV footages of the sailor purchasing around five litres of lose diesel from a Talasari bunker on February 5. The police now suspect that the sailor had staged his own kidnap.
Dubey was found with severe burn injuries in the jungles of Gholwad in the Palghar district and died while being taken to a hospital in Mumbai on February 5. On his death bed, Dubey had reportedly claimed that armed men had kidnapped him and demanded a ransom of ₹10 lakh for his release.
“The entire drama was meticulously pre-planned by Dubey given his Navy training. We will also take action against the owner of the petrol pump for selling lose diesel,” said Dattatray Shinde, superintendent of police, Palghar.
It is clear Dubey was under debt to the tune of over ₹25 lakh and had even approached 13 banks for loans, as per the Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL) report, said Shinde. He had invested in share trading and as per his dematerialization (DMAT) account, he owed ₹76,000 to a firm, even as he lost ₹18 lakh in the share market, Shinde added.
“His last credited amount was ₹34,000 salary from Indian Navy in January 2021. He had just ₹392 as balance in two accounts. Dubey had also borrowed ₹2 lakh from a friend and ₹9 lakh from his in-laws to invest in the share market. However, he lost all money. Dubey was to be married to be on May 22,” Shinde said.
The police said that the alleged kidnapper by the name of ‘Irfan’, who spoke to his cousin, was Dubey himself. “We are investigating how Suraj arrived in Gholwad from Chennai, covering 1,480 km, in just a few hours, when it takes over 26 hours. Dubey had claimed he was taken to a hillock by the kidnappers, but we found it is impossible to climb the hill ‘blindfolded’ (as alleged by Dubey), as it is dangerous,” said Shinde.
“Dubey had stayed at a lodge in Vellore, 60 km from Chennai, and had paid ₹2,000 as an advance. We also found his name in the hotel register. He checked out on February 1, evening, after getting a ₹1,000 refund. However, in his dying declaration, Dubey told us that he had been kidnapped from outside Chennai airport and driven 1,500 km down to Gholwad in Palghar, where he was allegedly set on fire by three unidentified men. We are probing as to how he travelled from Vellore to Palghar,” Shinde added.
Furthermore, the Indian Navy may declare Dubey as an ‘absconder’ for not rejoining the duty on February 1 at INS Agrani, Coimbatore.