Old enmity behind Sonawane murder?

Old enmity, too, seems to be emerging as the one of the possible reasons behind the murder of additional collector Yashwant Sonawane, as last year the official had booked the prime accused Popat Shinde and seized diesel and petrol worth over Rs 8 lakh from him.
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Updated on Jan 30, 2011 01:25 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByShailendra Mohan, Mumbai

Old enmity, too, seems to be emerging as the one of the possible reasons behind the murder of additional collector Yashwant Sonawane, as last year the official had booked the prime accused Popat Shinde and seized diesel and petrol worth over Rs 8 lakh from him.

On May 10, 2010, Sonawane had seized a tanker, belonging to Shinde, containing 3,000 litres of petrol and 9,000 litres of diesel. Sonawane had also seized a barrel containing 20 litres of diesel near Bharat Nagar. The seizure was valued at Rs 8,04,255.

Hindustan Times is in possession of documents showing the details of the seizure and the subsequent release of the tanker.

In a letter dated August 27, 2010, Sonawane instructed the local police station to release the tanker after carrying out the modalities. The letter asked the police station to release the tanker after ensuring that a bond valued at 75% of the total value of

the material is deposited. It also instructed the police to ensure that the shape or colour of the tanker is not changed and that it not leased or sold to another party. The letter was also marked to the local tehsildar and Shinde.

Sources state that the act may have been committed in a bid to retaliate.

Samadhan Pawar, deputy superintendent of police (Manmad), said, “There is no record of any personal enmity. We are investigating if there was any problem between the two owing to the nature of the work that Sonawane had undertaken.”

Sources stated that Shinde is still in a critical condition.

“During the scuffle, some of the kerosene may have spilled on him. While Sonawane was burning, Shinde too might have got trapped in it,” a senior police official on condition of anonymity said. “Police is yet to record his statement.”

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