Was Jharkand Navy man’s death murder or suicide?

Chennai: 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.

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.

A 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.

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

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

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

Surajkumar Mitilesh 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He had been moving around freely in Chennai after 30 January, had withdrawn money from ATM, and even traveled to Vellore, police found.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 5 February, Surajkumar Mitilesh Dube had bought two cans of diesel from a petrol pump in Talasari in Palghar.

All this gave rise to a 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.

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


NT Bureau