Sailor, who was burned alive in Palghar forest, had taken out loans, cops say
Days after Indian Navy sailor Surajkumar Mithilesh Dube, 27, died after being burned by kidnappers, investigation revealed he had taken ₹8 lakh as a personal loan and ₹Loan of 5.75 lakh from his colleague, allegedly to invest in stocks and shared. He also owned three cell phones, one of which was used exclusively for stock and stock transactions. His family members were unaware of the third phone.
Dube had also taken ₹9 lakh as his in-laws’ loan to invest, Dattatray Shinde, Police Commissioner (SP) Palghar said on Sunday. “We still don’t know the motive for the murder. We have formed 10 teams to investigate the matter, ”he said.
The coworker, who gave the money to Dube, reportedly asked him to return the money, after which Dube said he would refund the amount by check or online transaction.
Dube, who was on leave, reportedly traveled to Chennai on January 31 where he was reportedly kidnapped. He was then allegedly held captive for three days, after which he was allegedly taken to Gholwad in Palghar by three unidentified men. The three defendants then poured gasoline on him and set him on fire in the jungle of Vaiji-Vejalpada for refusing to give ₹10 lakh of ransom. Residents found him burned and admitted to a hospital. He died Friday evening while undergoing treatment at the Indian Navy INS Aswini.
His father Mithilesh, however, claimed he had not received any ransom calls.
In addition, the victim’s bank details revealed that he did not have ₹392 on his two bank accounts. The money from the accounts was transferred to a stock trading company, Shinde said.
Sources said Dube received 13 calls from a certain number asking when he would fly to Chennai. He had also withdrawn ₹5,000 from an ATM in Chennai, and we’re looking at CCTV footage on site for clues, Shinde said.
Dube left Ranchi and reached Hyderabad on an overnight flight, then took another flight late at night to reach Chennai Airport from where he was kidnapped and ultimately burned alive in the Gholwad jungle on Friday.
According to Shinde, the victim was burned alive on top of a hill in the jungle. After suffering 90% burns, Dube walked down the hill and sat by the side of the road when he was spotted by charred locals.
Dube joined the Indian Navy in 2013 and was first posted to INS Chilika, Orissa, then transferred to Mumbai, and since 2019 has been posted to INS Agrani, Coimbatore.
“We are investigating all possible angles, including whether the victim self-organized the kidnapping and searched for ₹A 10 lakh ransom in order to wipe out the financial mess and the creditors, ”Shinde said.
“We have registered a case under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder), 364 (kidnapping for ransom), 392 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code and the Weapons Act against strangers and we are investigating further. The body was sent for an autopsy, ”said a police officer, adding that they were also investigating why the victim was brought to Gholwad.