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Sonawane a martyr: Reddy


New Delhi : Describing slain Maharashtra additional district collector Yeshwant Sonawane as a martyr, Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy Thursday appealed to the state government to take stringent action against those who burnt him alive while he was on a raid.

Condemning the killing of the officer by the oil mafia in Malegaon, Reddy said: “We believe he died a heroic death. He died while performing a lofty duty. He was a martyr.”

“Although, distribution (of oil) is the business of the state government, we believe that we should recognise the officer who has paid with his life for this noble cause,” he said.

The petroleum minister said the oil companies have decided to pay Rs.25 lakh by way of ex-gratia relief to his family.

“We urge the state government to take stringent steps to see that all those involved are punished in a proper way,” he said.

Sonawane, 44, was burnt alive in Panewadi, near Manmad in Nashik district, Jan 25 when he went to conduct a raid on the local oil mafia for pilferage from kerosene tankers.

A 1994-batch Maharashtra cadre officer, Sonawane was posted at Malegaon since over a year. He is survived by his wife and two children, who study at Pune.