PUNE (Web Desk) – Datta Phuge, a 48-year old businessman from Pune who was known as ‘Pimpri Goldman’ after he got a gold shirt worth Rs 1.27 crore stitched for himself, was allegedly killed in front of his son on Thursday night.
Police have recovered the sickle used in the crime and detained four people, including his nephew, in connection with the murder.
According to police, at least 12 people attacked the 48-year-old at an open ground in Pune’s Dighi area. They attacked him with a sickle and then bludgeoned him to death after his vehicle was stopped on the outskirts of the city, IANS reported.
His 22-year-old son, who was with him, was left unharmed. Inspector Navnath Ghogare said Phuge and his son were invited by one of the assaulters to celebrate a birthday. “However, we are investigating how Phuge reached the open ground where he was murdered.” Police suspect that a dispute over a money transaction could be the motive behind the murder.
Reports said there have been complaints of financial misappropriation against him recently. His wife Seema was a corporator of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation from the Nationalist Congress Party. The couple used to run the Vakratund Chit Fund Pvt Ltd.
According to Hindustan Times, Seema Phuge was dismissed from her post after it was found that she submitted a fake caste certificate. The money-lender was also planning to contest in the next Assembly elections.
Phuge had a 22-carat pure gold shirt, weighing around 3.5 kg, made for himself in 2012. The shirt had six Swarovski crystal buttons and a matching gold belt. As many as 15 goldsmiths from Bengal had worked for 16 hours a day over two weeks to make the shirt ordered by him.