Popat Shinde, 45, prime accused in the murder of additional collector Yashwant Sonawane, died of a cardiac arrest caused due to septicemia on Monday at JJ Hospital in the city. Shinde, who was being treated for burn injuries, died in the afternoon, but no one came forward to claim his body.
While Shinde’s sons Kunal and Vikas are also accused in the Sonawane murder case, his third son, Sagar, though not an accused, is untraceable.
“We have informed his daughter and some other relatives. They will be making arrangements to claim the body,” said Samadhan Pawar, DSP (Manmad).
Shinde had suffered 70% burns and was brought to JJ Hospital in a critical condition on January 26. He was put on a ventilator on Monday after his health deteriorated as his burn wounds had developed septicemia.
Shinde was one of the 11 people accused of allegedly setting ablaze Sonawane at Manmad. Sonawane, who was passing through Manmad in his car, saw a group of people adulterating fuel and alighted to question the accused. However, before he could leave, Shinde and the others allegedly poured kerosene on him and burnt him alive.
As the accused were fleeing, Sonawane pulled Shinde towards him and held on to him. “Shinde had severe burns in his respiratory tract. We had scheduled a debridement surgery for Monday to remove the infection... He died before we could operate on him,” said Dr TP Lahane, dean, JJ Hospital.
Lahane added that Shinde did make a dying declaration about the Sonawane incident to the doctors. The panchanama was conducted by the JJ Marg police station. The post-mortem report said Shinde died of septicemia burns inducing shock.