Pune’s ‘gold shirt’ man killed with stones, nephew among four arrested
A 44-year-old man who shot to fame three years ago for making a Rs 1.27 crore gold shirt was killed by unidentified people, who attacked him with stones and sharp weapons early on Friday.Updated: Jul 15, 2016 21:56 IST
A 44-year-old Pune man who shot to fame four years ago for making a Rs 1.27 crore shirt entirely of gold was attacked with stones and killed, allegedly in front of his son, early Friday morning.
Police arrested five people in connection to Dattatray Phuge’s death, and his nephew and friends were being interrogated for their alleged role in the crime. Officials probing the case said financial troubles could have been the motive for the murder.
Those arrested in the case include Amol Pathare, 24, Shailesh Walke, 26, Vishal Parkhe, 32, Nivrutti Walke, 45 and Pramod Dholpuria, 23.
Some of the investors had complained about financial irregularities in the past and could be behind his murder, sources said.
Police said Phuge was attacked in an open ground and bludgeoned to death.
“Phuge and his son were invited by one of the suspects to celebrate a birthday. However we are investigating how Phuge reached the ground,” Dighi police station inspector Navnath Ghogare said.
Phuge’s 22-year-old son, who reached the spot following a similar ‘birthday’ invitation and witnessed his father’s murder, was spared by the attackers, police said.
The 44-year-old was aspiring to contest assembly elections and had brawls with some of these investors, police added.
Phuge’s wife Seema said some people came to their house in Bhosari late on Thursday night and asked her husband to accompany them.
“After taking my husband to Bharatmata nagar in Dighi, they attacked him with stones and sharp weapons,” said Seema, who is an ex-corporator from the Nationalist Congress Party. She was dismissed from the post after it was found that she submitted a fake caste certificate.
Phuge’s pictures first appeared in the media after he wore a specially made shirt using 22-carat gold that weighed 3.5 kilogrammes. At the time, Phuge had maintained that he made the gold shirt to attract people’s attention.
Police said Phuge had recently given his gold shirt to a Mumbai-based businessman, from whom he had borrowed money but could not repay it.