Palghar cops punch holes in seaman's kidnap claim

Palghar cops punch holes in Indian Navy sailor's claim of kidnap

The claim that he was blindfolded when he was taken from Chennai to the place where he was burnt was busted

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

Nearly a fortnight after a man was found with severe burn injuries and subsequently died, police investigations have punched holes in the claims of Indian Navy sailor Surajkumar Dubey and circumstances that could have led to his death.

The Palghar police are also investigating whether he ended his own life as a result of a heavy debt burden.

Dubey, a 27-year-old leading seaman, who was attached to INS Agrani, a leadership training establishment in Coimbatore, has taken a loan to the tune of Rs 22 lakh from various sources.

He was found in the Vavji-Vajlipada jungle in Gholwad by locals on February 5 with nearly 90 per cent burn injuries from where he was shifted to a hospital at Dahanu and then to INHS Asvini, the naval command hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

However, before he passed away, he had given a dying declaration, in which he had alleged that he was kidnapped by three persons from the Chennai airport and was brought to Palghar and burnt after he refused to pay Rs 10 lakh.

Palghar’s Superintendent of Police Dattatreya Shinde formed 10 teams of 10 members each which visited his hometown, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mumbai and fanned through the Palghar district.

After the police team reached Chennai, from the CCTV footage of the airport it concluded that he was not kidnapped there as the victim had claimed. He was also seen stepping in at an ATM kiosk, bus stop and hotel.

In Talasari in Palghar, he was also seen purchasing diesel from a petrol pump.

Dubey, who hailed from Chainpur in Jharkhand, had boarded a Raipur-Hyderabad-Chennai flight on January 30-31, however, failed to join duty on February 1, which was confirmed to Mumbai Police by authorities at INS Agrani.

CCTV footage revealed that he came out of the airport - as against the claim of getting kidnapped at the airport - and had dinner at Hotel Sarvesh and then walked to the Koyambedu bus depot.

The next two days on January 30 and February 1, he had checked into a lodge in Vellur.  "CCTV footage and staffers of lodges have confirmed it," said Shinde.

In the evening of February 1, he had himself called up his cousin and shouted 'Irfan...Irfan' and then disconnected the phone thus creating doubts that he was kidnapped by some Irfan.  "The CCTV at check posts did not match with the SUV that Dubey had mentioned," he said.

Investigations by the Palghar police have revealed that the victim invested in stock markets and had piled up huge debts of over Rs 22 lakh – which include nearly 8 lakh as personal loan, borrowing of over Rs 5 lakh from a colleague and a loan of Rs 9 lakh from his future in-laws.

Despite the huge loans he had picked up, his two accounts in different branches with the State Bank of India showed a measly sum of Rs 392.

Police also checked his Demat accounts and collected details of his profile from Credit Information Bureau India Ltd.

The claim that he was blindfolded when he was taken from Chennai to the place where he was burnt was also busted as it is not possible for one to go through harsh terrain blindfolded.

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