‘Gold Shirt Man’ Phuge murdered in Dighi; cops launch manhunt for killers

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Dattatray Phuge who was famously known as Goldman of Pimpri-Chinchwad in Pune was hacked and bludgeoned to death on Thursday night in Bharatmata nagar area of Dighi in the city. Phuge’s ticket to fame was his Rs 1.27 crore gold shirt of 3-5 k.g which  also got entry into Guinness book of world records as the world’s costliest shirt.

According to the information provided by Dighi police station, on Thursday night around 9pm, some 4-5 men kidnapped Phuge from his house. They initially hacked him and then bludgeoned him to death with a stone in Bharatmata nagar. Police have recovered a chopper from the crime spot. Body of deceased was taken to Yahwantrao Chavan memorial hospital in Pimpri for post-mortem.

Five suspects including the nephew of Phuge has been arrested by police in the case. Suspects have been identified as Kiran Phuge (Nephew of Phuge), Vishal Parke, Bala Valake, Balu Patare and Atul Mohite.

Feud related to money and a gambling den is cited as the reason for murder as per the preliminary investigation by police. According to police, Phuge had an altercation with suspects more than a week ago.

“Phuge and his son were invited by one of the suspects to celebrate a birthday. However we are investigating how Phuge reached the ground,” said Dighi police station inspector Navnath Ghogare, according to Hindustan Times.

Phuge’s wife, Seema was elected as a corporator from Nationalist congress party in Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation. However, she had to leave her post on the allegations of furnishing fake cast certificate to contest the elections.

Phuge was a land owner and also used to run a credit society. He was operating Vakratund chit fund company since 2009 and used to lend money on interest to people. The gold man has various cases of cheating against him.

A case has been registered at Dighi police station under section 302, 361 and other relevant section of Indian penal code.