Petrol mafia burn senior district official on raid

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NASHIK - A senior district administration official was doused with petrol and burnt to death by a gang of petrol robbers when he raided their premises on the outskirts of Malegaon town here Tuesday.

Additional district collector Yeshwant Sonawane, along with his secretary and driver had gone to raid a warehouse on the outskirts of Malegaon where petrol and kerosene robbers and adulterators were believed to be operating.

According to district collector P. Velrasu, when Sonawane raided the premises, the gang of petrol mafia attacked him, sprayed him with petrol and kerosene and set him on fire before escaping from there.

“Sonawane’s stunned secretary and driver attempted to give them chase and nab them but they managed to escape”, Velrasu said.

Sonawane, 44, was burnt to death within minutes even as his aides summoned the local police and district administration officials.

Nashik Superintendent of Police Uddhav Kamble said that a manhunt has been launched for the culprits, all borders to and from Malegaon town and the entire district have been sealed.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, state Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is also the guardian minister of Nashik district, told mediapersons that the culprits responsible for the heinous act would be dealt with most severely.

A grim Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat vowed to book the clrpits and try them under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Sonawane is survived his wife, who lives in Malegaon and two children, both students in Pune.

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