Jaipal Reddy holds emergency meeting to discuss oil adulteration issue

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - Union Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy on Thursday chaired an emergency meeting to discuss the oil adulteration issue and to chart out a course of action to root out the oil mafia.

The meeting was held in the wake of the killing of Nashik Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane, who was burnt alive by suspected members of the oil mafia on Tuesday at Manmad in Nasik. He had gone there to conduct raids.

Talking to reporters, Reddy said: “An honest officer has paid with his life for doing his job. We condemn attack on ADC Sonawane.”

Reddy said that an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh would be given to Sonawane’s family.

He further said that fuel rackets have to be eliminated.

“State has to crackdown on rampant oil mafia. The excise department has raided 200 locations in Maharashtra,” he added.

Ruling out deregulation of diesel prices, Reddy said: “Let me make it clear, I agree in theory that diesel prices should be deregulated, but whether it is practically and politically feasible is totally different.”

According to police, a group of eleven men turned on him, poured kerosene over him, and then set him on fire. Sonawane tried to fight back by grabbing Popat Shinde, the ringleader of his attackers. But he died within minutes.

Shinde is now in a local hospital with serious burn injuries.

The other accused were produced before a local court in Manmad on Wednesday and remanded in police custody till February 8,

Mahrashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has announced a Rs.25 lakh compensation for the family of Sonawane. (ANI)

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