Pune ‘Gold Man’ Was Killed By Son’s Friends Over Rs. 1.5 Lakh, Say Police

Pune: Investigators said Pune’s multi-millionaire Datta Phuge was killed by his son’s friends to recover Rs. 1.5 lakh he owed them.

Known as ‘gold man’, Mr Phuge was attacked with a sickle, swords, knives and rods and then bludgeoned to death with large stones near Dighi in Pune on Friday morning, sending shockwaves, particularly among the city’s wealthy elite.

Police caught five of the accused youth, based on the statement of the victim’s 21-year-old son Shubham Phuge. Four more persons are on the run.

According to police, around 10 pm on Thursday night, one of the main accused, Atul Mohite, called Shubham asking him to bring his father for a friend’s birthday party.

Mohite also told Shubham to pick up 10 packets of biryani and two cigarette packets on the way to the party, the investigations said.

Shubham conveyed the message to his father and went to pick up the food in his car with a friend Rohan Panchal.

When they came to the appointed party spot, they saw that Mohite and others were attacking his father, stopped his car and started screaming for help.

But it was too late. Bleeding and mangled, Mr Phuge had died in on the spot.

Stunned by the turn of events, Shubham and Panchal called the police and informed while Mohite and around 10 others ran away from the scene in the darkness.

Later, Shubham and Panchal, the main witnesses to the crime, lodged a complaint with police. Mr Phuge’s wife Seema, a former municipal corporator, also reached the spot.

Known for his famous gold shirt, Mr Phuge usually moved around with armed bodyguards. It is not clear why they were not with him on that night.