Kidnapping declare of Navy man who was ‘burnt alive’ appears to be fiction: Police

Palghar, February 25

A Navy seaman from Jharkhand who died in Maharashtra’s Palghar district after allegedly being set on fire by his kidnappers had apparently concocted the whole story of abduction, police said on Wednesday.

Leading Seaman Surajkumar Mitilesh Dube (27), who was posted at a naval base at Coimbatore, was indebted heavily due to losses in the stock market and was depressed, police said.

Probe is still underway to ascertain whether he had been really kidnapped and burnt alive or it was suicide, said Palghar Superintendent of Police Dattatreya Shinde at a press conference.

Dube, who was found with burn injuries in Palghar district near Mumbai on the early morning of February 5, had told police before dying the same day that three men kidnapped him at gun point outside Chennai airport on  the night on January 30.

They brought him to Palghar in an SUV and set him on fire when they realized they would not get money, he said.

However, probe found holes in the story, SP Shinde said.

Dube had incurred heavy losses in the stock market and had run up huge debts but he concealed this from his family, the SP said.

He had been moving around freely in Chennai after January 30, had withdrawn money from ATM and even traveled to Vellore, police found.

From CCTV footage, police also found that around 5.30 on the morning of February 5, Dube had bought two cans of diesel from a petrol pump in Talasari in Palghar.

All this gave rise to suspicion that he set himself on fire in a suicide bid, the SP said, adding that the police had not reached any definitive conclusions yet.

Dube had got engaged on January 15 and he was to get married on May 22, police said. PTI


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