A reluctant home minister RR Patil on Thursday finally wrote a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asking the agency to investigate the murder of additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane who was burnt to death by oil mafia in Manmad last month.
“I have written to the CBI asking them to look into the case. But like I said, it is an individual case which the agency might not want to take up,” Patil said on Thursday.
From the time the incident took place on January 25, Patil has been averse to the idea of handing over the matter to the CBI saying it was a murder case and could be probed by the state police.
A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders led by party president Sudhir Mungantiwar met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday. The delegation included the leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse and BJP parliamentarians and legislators. “We explained to him the importance of allowing the CBI to investigate this case. A CBI probe will help take stringent action against the oil mafia,” BJP president Mungantiwar said. The delegation also demanded that phone records of Sonawane’s personal assistant and driver be checked.
The BJP is demanding a white paper on all externment orders issued in the state. The state’s handling of externment order has come under flak after it was found out the order of the main accused in Sonawane’s murder, Popat Shinde, was issued from the Mantralaya.
“The white paper could help in creating better laws which will ensure that the prevailing loop holes are plugged,” Mungantiwar said. He said Chavan agreed with them.
But it was Nationalist Congress Party senior leader and public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s demand for a CBI probe which forced Patil to agree.
The CM, however, has stated that the case will be investigated by the state police.