Six more held for burning alive Malegaon officer

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MALEGAON - Six more people were arrested Wednesday for burning to death additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane when he was conducting a raid on the oil mafia near here, taking the total arrests to 10, a police official said.

“The three fresh arrests are of Toufique Shaikh, Imran Khan and Hakkani Khan. Police had arrested Vikas Shinde, Sitaram Bhosale and Deepak Borase earlier Wednesday,” said Superintendent of Police Milind Bharambe.

All the accused have been remanded in police custody till Feb 8 by a Malegaon court.

“One more accused, Ajay Sonawane, is still absconding,” Bharambe said.

Four people - the prime accused Popat Shinde, his son Kunal, Raju Shirsat and Kachru Suvaralkar - were arrested Tuesday within hours of the attackers pouring petrol and kerosene on Sonawane and setting him on fire.

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

Sonawane, 44, was burnt alive in Panewadi, near Manmad in Nashik district, on Tuesday, 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.

Mahrashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan 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 the 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 Sonawane’s ghastly killing.

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