Three more held for burning Malegaon officer


Malegaon (Maharashtra): Three more people were Wednesday arrested for burning to death additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane while he was conducting a raid on the oil mafia for pilferage from kerosene tankers near here. In all, seven accused have been remanded to police custody till Feb 8.

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The three held were Vikas Shinde, Sitaram Bhosale and Deepak Borase. Four people – the prime accused Popat Shinde, his son Kunal, Raju Shirsat and Kachru Suvaralkar – were arrested Tuesday.

Popat Shinde, who also sustained 60-65 percent burn injuries, is in a Malegaon hospital where his condition is reported to be serious.

The accused were presented in a Malegaon court and remanded to police custody till Feb 8, a police official said.

Sonawane, 44, was doused with kerosene and burnt alive in Panewadi, near Manmad in Nashik district, on Tuesday, after 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.

Mahrashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had late Tuesday announced a compensation of Rs.25 lakh for Sonawane’s family along with other benefits like a government job to one dependent family member, salary till his retirement date, free education for his two children till graduation and a residence from the government quota.

Residents of Malegaon and surrounding towns unfurled the tricolour Wednesday on the occasion of Republic Day amidst tight security and a grim atmosphere to pay tribute to Sonawane.

The Maharashtra Gazetted Officers Federation, meanwhile, has called for a daylong strike Thursday to protest against Sonawane’s murder.