Navy officer abducted from Chennai, set ablaze in Palghar

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A 26-year-old Navy sailor abducted from Chennai on January 30 was set on fire by his kidnappers in the jungles of Maharashtra's Palghar district and died of his injuries, the police said on Saturday. Suraj Kumar Dubey, the victim, died on Friday while he was being shifted to a hospital in Mumbai, district police said.

Dubey, who hailed from Ranchi, was posted at INS Agrani near Coimbatore, said Palghar district police spokesperson Sachin Navadkar. As per preliminary information, three men abducted him at gunpoint outside Chennai Airport around 9 pm on January 30 when he was returning from vacation, and demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh.

He was kept captive in Chennai for three days and later shifted to an area near Vevji in Talasari area of Palghar district of Maharashtra, close to Mumbai and 1,400 km from the Tamil Nadu capital. According to Hindustan Times, when the kidnappers' demand for ransom was not fulfilled by the Navy official's family, the abductors got enraged and tied his hands and legs and set him on fire in jungles near Gholvad, and fled leaving him for dead, police said.

Dubey managed to flee and with the help of some local residents, reached Dahanu Primary Health Centre. As he had more than 90% burn injuries, he was rushed to the Naval Hospital in Mumbai but he died on the way, police said. Before dying, he narrated the ordeal to police, Navadkar said.

Indian Express reports that Dubey told the police in his statement that three people, in their forties, abducted him and pushed him into a white SUV. They asked for a ransom of Rs 10 lakh.

Palghar SP Datta Shinde told the Indian Express that the Gholwad police station in Palghar has registered an FIR under charges of murder (Section 302 of the IPC), attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, wrongful confinement and common intention.

A Navy spokesperson said that Dubey was on leave when he was abducted and found in Palghar with 90% burns on Friday morning. He was brought to INHS Asvini — the Navy hospital — but was declared dead on arrival.