24 lakh protest killing of official by oil mafia
More than 24 lakh Maharashtra government employees struck work across the state on Thursday to protest the brutal killing of Nashik's additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane by the mafia at Manmad town on Tuesday.
As the employees expressed outrage at the official's murder for trying to curb adulteration of fuel, the state government cracked down on alleged adulterators of oil and milk and people involved in the sand mining racket.By the end of the day, 163 people had been arrested.
Sonawane, 46, was burnt alive when he tried stopping some men from mixing kerosene with petrol.
The police have arrested all 11 accused. Sonawane's wife, Vijaya, however, said she didn't trust the police and demanded a CBI probe.
The family suspects the murder was planned in advance.
State home minister RR Patil has asked the police to check if the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act can be applied in the case.
The Centre too announced steps to curb the fuel adulteration industry.
An estimated 40-60% of the 10.5 million tonnes of kerosene the government annually allocates to states is diverted once it leaves the oil company depots, said a senior official at state-owned Indian Oil Corporation.
This translates into an illegal industry worth Rs 21,000 crore from 6,825 million litres of kerosene that sells at Rs 31 a litre in the black market - Rs 19 more than the official price of Rs 12 a litre.