Popular as the “gold man” in his lifetime, 39-year-old Samrat Hiraman Moze died of a cardiac arrest at a private hospital on Tuesday. A resident of Sangamwadi area, he became famous for wearing about eight to 10 kilos of gold. His last rites were performed at Yerwada amid few people, due to a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Moze was a businessman with political links. The nephew of former MLA Rambhau Moze, he was also an aspirant for contesting the civic elections from Sangamwadi. He is survived by his wife and two children as well as his mother.
In June 2011, MNS MLA Ramesh Wanjale, who was also popular as the “gold man” of Pune, died of a cardiac arrest aged 45. Wanjale was the MLA from Khadakwasla constituency when he died, and would wear several gold ornaments. It became a matter of discussion during his campaign for the 2009 Assembly elections. Thousands, including MNS chief Raj Thackeray and top politicians from Pune, had turned up for Wanjale’s funeral.
Then, in July 2016, a 47-year-old businessman, Dattatray Phuge, who also shot to fame for buying a “gold shirt” in 2012, was allegedly bludgeoned to death by a gang of 12 people in front of his son in Dighi area. Fondly known as Datta, he used to run the Vakratunda Chitfund company in Bhosari and had become the talk of the town after he presented himself a shirt made of gold, weighing about 3.5 kg and worth Rs 1.29 crore. He was the husband of Seema Phuge, former corporator of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.